The expansion of its current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) production capacity will be concentrated in the multipurpose plants at the Visp site and will take place in several stages, according to the company.
In the first stage, a new building will be erected and the drying capacity enlarged. The completion of the building is sched-uled for the end of the first quarter in 2006, and the start-up of the drying installation at the end of 2006. The investment for the first phase together with the partial expansion will amount to CHF 23 million (€15m).
Further expansion stages will be closely linked to customer requirements, but from the outset Lonza envisages building two production trains for final products and up to three drying trains with milling and micronising capabilities.
Meanwhile, Lonza also said it is expanding its research and development (R&D) capacity in China with the construction of a new facility in Nansha, Guangzhou province. The scientists in the new R&D centre will undertake process development and analytical work. It will house about 60 scientific personnel and is planned to come into operation in the first quarter of 2006.
"The R&D Centre in China will concentrate on research and development of active ingredients and intermediates in the area of custom synthesis. It will be an integral part for Lonza's global R&D organisation servicing our Exclusive Synthesis customers worldwide," said the company in a statement.
Lonza's existing R&D group in China, currently also located in Guangzhou, will relocate to the new centre in Nansha. The company has been producing in China since 1999, and currently employs 380 people in the country.