Almac investment in £20m production site creates 100 new jobs
Northern Ireland pharmaceutical company Almac has invested £20m in the opening of a new production facility at its headquarters in Craigavon with the creation of 100 new posts.
The 95,000 sq ft premises will allow the drug giant to strengthen its production of temperature-sensitive drugs.
It is known in the industry as a cold chain facility and can provide an environment of up to minus 25 degrees.
The store, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, has been purpose-built in response to client demands for drugs that address rare diseases, as well as changes to regulatory compliance and a more stringent focus on data across the supply chain.
The announcement comes not long after the company confirmed a further £30m investment in its Co Louth site to protect it against Brexit uncertainty. The Dundalk facility, which the company announced in 2016, will open in January 2019.
It is also part of its global expansion plans and will enable it to maintain "seamless" access to the single market.
These plans include the buyout of Bio Clinic Laboratories in Athlone last year and Arran Chemical Company in 2015.
Alan Armstrong, chief executive of Almac Group, said the most recent announcement confirms the company's commitment to its headquarters in Craigavon "and Northern Ireland as a whole with the creation of 100 new jobs".
He added: "We have, once again, set the industry standard with an additional £20m investment in our comprehensive global clinical and commercial supply chain offering.
"This new facility expands our cold storage capacity by 300% and our frozen storage capabilities by over 50%, enabling us to better serve our clients, and ultimately patients, worldwide thereby maintaining our position as a global leader in the life sciences sector."
The new Craigavon site will be made up of 3,000 pallet spaces, including minus 15 to minus 25 degree storage capacity and additional minus two to eight degree secondary production rooms, processing areas and a clinical labelling suite. Office space has also been added for new staff.
Almac has over 30 years of experience in global distribution and management of temperature sensitive drugs. It employs 5,000 staff across the UK, Republic, US and in Singapore and Tokyo.
The company has said its Dundalk site "significantly increases the group's global footprint and provides an expanded presence within the EU for both clinical trial supplies and commercial drug product operations, thereby providing uninterrupted service provision to its global clients".