German chemical and industrial giant BASF last week celebrated a completed plant expansion and a production milestone at its facility in northern Alabama.
The company announced that its Huntsville complex, which wrapped up an 18-month renovation to bolster its production capacity, recently churned out its 400 millionth catalytic converter — an unprecedented total for the device used to limit vehicle emissions for more than 40 years.
"Nobody else has this number," Dirk Demuth, senior vice president of BASF’s catalysts division, told AL.com.
The Huntsville facility opened in 1974, which coincided with BASF's development of catalytic converters for the 1975 vehicle model year.
The latest expansion of the plant added 10 employees to its roughly 500-person workforce. BASF officials said that the added capacity will meet the region's growing auto parts demand and technology needs.
The company also announced the complex's certification as a Virtually Zero Waste Facility, which requires full transparency about the amount of waste "diverted from landfills and sent for incineration with energy recovery."
“Manufacturing is a booming industry in Alabama, and the motor vehicle parts sector continues to be the strongest and most successful," state Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said in a statement.