GE building Ireland campus with four of its prefab plants

Having won a couple of deals to build its prefabricated manufacturing facilities in Asia, GE will now invest €150 million to build out an entire campus in Ireland that will showcase its off-the-shelf technology.

The biopharmaceutical manufacturing campus will include four of GE’s KUBio plants and is expected to employ about 500 if it gets fully occupied. About 100 of those jobs would be GE employees handling centralized and shared services for the companies in the four KUBios. It is being built on a site owned by Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) at Loughbeg, Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, the company said today in an announcement. Construction is set to begin by mid-2017, it said.

GE has also agreed to partner with Ireland National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training to create a training facility in Dublin that is expected train up to 1,500 biologics plant workers a year.

While the company does not yet have takers for the four plants, a GE spokesperson said in an email today that GE is having “in-depth discussions with a number of companies who are very interested in the concept of BioPark and KUBio in Europe.”

GE has a production facility in Germany to build the prefab parts of the plants, which can then be shipped and quickly erected. It has likened their assembly to working with LEGO blocks and claims they can cut as much as 45% off the cost of building a new plant. It erected one in Wuhan, China, last year for JHL Biotech, a company founded by U.S. biotech veterans working on biosimilars, that took 11 days to assemble.

In June, Pfizer announced it would spend $350 million to have GE build one of the modular biologics plants in Hangzhou, China, which Pfizer will use to make biosimilars for the Chinese market and for export. It said it expected the plant to be operational in about 18 months, instead of three years.

- here’s the release

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