Lonza hopes that the new business it has set up in China will help cement its position as a leading provider of services to the country’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.
The unit, which is based in China’s Guangzhou Nansha economic development zone, became operational on August 1 and will initially focus on providing engineering services to drug firms in the country before broadening its offering to a global scale.
Dominik Werner from Lonza’s media relations department told in-PharmaTechnologist.com that setting up the unit: “was considered right from the beginning of Lonza’s investment activities in China to be the best possible approach to built up a strong in house engineering competence,” due to the complexity of transferring technology from Switzerland to China.
He added that: “Professional training and a close link to operations which supports continuous improvement of our local engineers as well as significant investment into workshop capabilities have [created] a unique engineering and maintenance set up. The team consists of more than 130 people is now grouped in the newly established Lonza Engineering Company offering their service to internal and external customers.”
Werner went on to say that the main business focus will be to manage projects and to perform maintenance services for industrial clients. The business scope also includes the design and fabrication of complex modular production systems.
He also explained that the firm’s: “technology and competence in waste handling systems and cooperation agreement with European know how providers will enable [the new unit] to realise business opportunities in the area of environmental protection. Lonza Engineering will also continue to manage projects and perform maintenance services for Lonza in China.“
Lonza’s Chinese development
At present, Lonza has several production, R&D and sales operations in China. The company is a major producer of niacinamide (vitamin B3) for drug and nutraceutical manufacturers in the region.
Lonza’s existing set up In Guangzhou also produces active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), chemical intermediates and other products for the pharmaceutical sector.
The firm established a small scale plant in late 2007 and, according to Werner, plans to begin large scale operations at the facility in the fourth quarter this year. In addition, In Liyang, Lonza operates a plant producing pyromellitic acid and pyromellitic dianhydride, while in Nanjing it is constucting a microbial control plant.