Fresenius to build new plant in Australia

Germany's Fresenius Kabi has a grant from a state government in Australia and plans to build a new manufacturing plant there.

The drugmaker says it will erect a $47 million facility in Derrimut outside of Melbourne to manufacture intravenous bags and delivery systems for hospitals around Australia, the Herald Sun Leader reports. It said the company has gotten a grant from the state. Fresenius Kabi expects the facility to be operating by 2016 and to lead to 120 new jobs. The plant is expected to be able to produce 29 million units annually when it is up and running, Zita Peach, South Asia Pacific vice president, told the newspaper.

The drugmaker has been expanding in that part of the world. In August, Fresenius Kabi announced it had bought controlling interest in Indonesian drugmaker PT Ethica Industri Farmasi to gain local manufacturing expertise. The joint venture will build a $60 million facility in Cikarang, West Java, to produce intravenous drugs. It is expected to open in 2015. The JV also plans to invest another $40 million in two more facilities to make antibiotics.

The Fresenius expansion in Australia is a shot in the arm for an area that has had some other drugmakers cutting operations. GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in May 2013 announced it would close a tablet packaging line at a plant in Melbourne and whack about 120 of the 363 workers at the facility. Four months later, Pfizer ($PFE) said it would close a plant in Sydney in 2015 where about 140 workers manufacture both human and animal medications.

- read the Herald Sun Leader story