Indonesia's Kimia to build $71M plant to make herbal meds

Indonesia is working to bolster its domestic drugmaking and state-controlled drugmaker Kimia Farma has a list of projects in the works to help that happen. Its most recent is to build a manufacturing facility that will boost its production of herbal medicines.

According to Deal Street Asia, Kimia expects to start construction on a 978 billion rupiah ($70.87 million) manufacturing facility in Bandung, West Java this year and expects to have it complete within two years. Citing a statement from Kimia Farma President Director Rusi Rosman, the publication said the facility is projected to have a capacity of 3.6 billion tablets a year, which will more than triple the company's current capabilities. The new facility will be Kimia's sixth in the country.

The drugmaker, which is projecting to grow revenue by 15% this year to 5.2 trillion rupiah ($376 million), has some other projects in the works, Deal Street Asia reports. In partnership with a South Korean partner, Kimia plans to build a raw ingredient plant in West Java to help reduce import expenses. It also has plans to build a salt plant in East Java with partner PT Garam.

Western drugmakers are taking more of an interest in Indonesia. Pfizer ($PFE) last year expanded a small plant in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, so that production could reach about 300 million pills a year, up from about 170 million. Germany's Fresenius Kabi, which claims to be the market leader in IV generics in Indonesia, in 2013 bought controlling interest in Indonesian drugmaker Ethica Industri Farmasi. The two then announced a $60 million plant to make IV generic drugs and infusion solutions.

- read the Deal Street Asia story