UK engineering firm win £25 million contract to build GSK’s new facility in Montrose

An artist's impression of the new facility
An artist's impression of the new facility

A UK engineering firm has been awarded a contract to create a brand new pharmaceutical facility at GlaxoSmithKline’s Montrose site.

The contract, worth around £25 million, will see Doosan Babcock work with GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) to design, build and install the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) facility which, on completion, will produce active ingredients for three of GSK’s new medicines for the management of respiratory conditions such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

GSK’s existing Montrose operations currently cater for more than 20 million patients every day. The company plans to recruit a further 25 employees at the facility once it is complete in summer 2016.

A team of 40 Doosan Babcock engineers are already at work on the Montrose project, having completed the initial feed study undertaken by Doosan Babcock in 2014.

Commenting on the new contract, Andrew Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Doosan Babcock, said: “This is a milestone contract for Doosan Babcock and it is great to see that our major investment and ongoing work in Scotland’s pharmaceutical sector is being noticed. We are proud to be working with GSK on a project that will offer a major boost to the local economy, bring jobs to the region, and ultimately provide essential healthcare products for millions of people.”

The announcement represents another major venture in Scotland by Doosan Babcock. In 2014 the company made a £6 million investment in a new Process Engineering Centre at its Renfrew site which included a £1.5 million grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Doosan Babcock’s recent investment has already seen the creation of 25 skilled jobs in Renfrew and has paved the way for the development of an engineering skills ‘center of excellence’ to support customers in the pharmaceutical and process industries.

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 Angus Council gave the green light for the plans for the new API manufacturing facility at GSK’s Cobden Street plant.

The development standards committee were given details of the three-storey production plant, on a 900 square metres footprint, which will be built on a re-used brownfield site. It will have the capacity to produce 1,500kg of pharmaceutical ingredients every year and there were no objections submitted in respect of the plan.

In November 2013, Roger Connor, President of Global Manufacturing and Supply for GSK announced the plans for the new facility at the Montrose site.

At the same time, Finance Secretary John Swinney also announced in addition to the £2.7 million already ring fenced by Angus Council, Scottish Enterprise is also backing the expansion by awarding Angus Council £1.5 million to improve access into the GSK site and the area around it.

Work on the Montrose Spine Road to improve the access to GSK started in October 2014.