GSK awards contract for API plant in Scotland

A rendering of the API plant expansion in Montrose, Scotland--Courtesy of Doosan Babcock

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) is moving forward with an expansion of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Scotland that it announced more than a year ago.

The U.K.-based drugmaker has awarded a £25 million ($38 million), contract to design and build firm Doosan Babcock, for a plant where GSK intends to manufacture three APIs for treating respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the engineering company said in a release Wednesday.

The Montrose site already makes APIs that GSK uses in some of its inhalers, as well as for capsules and solid dose products. When the new plant is complete, GSK has said it expects to add about 25 jobs to the 750 people is has employed in Scotland. The company is getting about £4.2 million in financial support from development agencies for the facility.

The new API project is in addition to an investment of about £100 million ($161.7 million) the company announced several years ago for upgrades to its sites in Montrose and Irvine. The drugmaker, which has a global plan to reduce its carbon footprint, had hoped to provide some of the energy for the Montrose operations with a couple of wind turbines. The local council, however, rejected those plans in the face of complaints from hundreds of residents who said the 426-foot-high generators would be out of place in the picturesque area.

- here's the announcement