Glaxo piles onto API expansion in Scotland

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), already in the midst of an expansion at an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Scotland, has decided to add even more capacity with a little financial help from the government.

The drugmaker said on Friday that it would invest another £25 million ($40.4 million) in the facility in Montrose to add APIs for four new products. When complete, the expansion will add about 25 jobs, bringing to 750 its total employment in the country. The company said it would be getting about £2.7 million from the local council and a £1.5 million Enterprise Scotland grant to improve access into the GSK site and the area around it. The expansion is on top of the £100 million ($161.7 million) the company said last year it would be investing in Montrose and another manufacturing site in Irvine.

"Our people here in Montrose manufacture the primary ingredients that then go forward to be put in inhalers, pills, capsules and injections for patients across the globe," said Roger Connor, president of global manufacturing and supply for GSK. "Montrose will work alongside our sister site in Singapore to meet international demand for some of the world's most important medicines."

GSK had hoped to provide some of the energy requirements for the Montrose facility with a pair of wind turbines that would also help it reduce its carbon footprint. The local council, however, has so far rejected those plans after hundreds of residents complained, saying the 426-foot-high generators would be out of place in the picturesque area.

- here's GSK's announcement