Glaxo starts $153M plant in India

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has started work on a new plant in India that is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the Bangalore area. In the interim, the company's investment for the tablet facility, which will incorporate continuous processing, has grown to £100 million from the £85 initially projected.

The U.K. company said in a release on Tuesday that when complete in 2017, the factory will have about 300 employees and the capacity to push out 8 billion tablets and 1 billion capsules a year. GSK intends to make gastroenterology drugs and anti-inflammatories for the Indian market. The $153.6 million project, being built on a 50-acre site in Vemgal, Karnataka, includes a warehouse, employee welfare center and packing lines.

The company emphasized its "commitment" to India. "We fully support the government in their efforts to increase access to affordable medicines to improve healthcare and we are very excited to begin work on what will become our largest manufacturing facility in India," Annaswamy Vaidheesh, GSK managing director in India, said in a statement.

It is GSK's sixth plant in the country and when CEO Andrew Witty announced the project, he said it would incorporate continuous processing. The technology moves away from batch production, allowing for smaller facilities with lower operating expenses. The processes also generate less waste and has less environmental impact.

GSK, which says it is a leader in vaccines and consumer health products in the country, already has three plants in Nabha, Sonepat, and Rajahmundry that serve its Consumer Healthcare operation, and two in Nashik, one that makes pharmaceuticals and another that packages vaccines. GSK says it has already invested more than £100 million ($156 million) in its facilities there over the past decade.

- here's the release