31 August 1998 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Lonza is considering long-term plans for building a large fine chemicals complex at either its main site in Visp, Switzerland, or in the US, where it has two fine chemicals plants at Conshohocken, Pa., and Los Angeles.
The company has just brought on a sixth intermediates and active ingredients facility at Visp, which completes the phased construction of a fine chemicals complex there over 10 years.
"We are looking at the possibility of a similar project for fine chemicals either in Switzerland or in the US, which would also be built in phases," says a Lonza spokesman.
Another option is to construct smaller complexes for intermediates and active ingredients production, which would be built on two of the sites or spread around all three.
The board of Alusuisse-Lonza, the parent company, has just approved a $34 million credit for a 50 percent expansion of Lonza's intermediates and active ingredients capacity at Conshohocken. The extension makes it one of the largest production units for the exclusive manufacture of pharmaceutical fine chemicals in the US.
The new facility at Visp has a modular design, which is the first of its type, providing flexibility in the use of individual components such as thin film evaporators and filtration units. One of the reactor vessels can operate at temperatures as low as -50vC.
The first products to be made at the new plant are an intermediate for an anti-hypertension drug and an active ingredient for an AIDS medicine. The annual output from the six-unit complex will now average around SFr 300 million ($200 million).
Lonza says all its fine chemicals plants are running at high capacities thanks to projects with major pharmaceutical companies including precursors and intermediates for several new drugs having a large potential markets.
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