Aspen Pharma’s High-Containment Manufacturing Facility, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

In May 2018, pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Aspen Pharma opened a new high-containment facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Project Type

High-containment manufacturing facility


Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa


April 2016


May 2018


In May 2018, pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Aspen Pharma opened a new high-containment facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Estimated to have cost more than R1bn ($70m), the new facility is part of Aspen’s commitment to expand its manufacturing capacity and strengthen South Africa’s industrialisation programme by supporting the production of local products.

Aspen is also developing a new small-volume facility at the same site, which is expected to create more than 500 jobs.

Details of Aspen’s high-containment manufacturing and sterile facilities

The new high-containment suite is spread over an area of 23,000m². More than 95% of products produced at the facility will be exported to Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The sterile facility at the site will be equipped with pre-filled syringe capability for low molecular weight heparin injectables. The products will be supplied to the domestic and offshore markets.

Aspen is also undertaking numerous capacity enhancement projects at the project site.

Products and production capacity of the high-containment suite

The new facility will be used for manufacturing high potent oncological compounds. It will produce drugs such as Alkeran, Leukeran, and Purinethol, which are indicated for the treatment of late-stage cancers, as well as Benztropine and Imuran.

Imuran is used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, while Benztropine is indicated for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease will also be produced at the site.

“The facility will manufacture more than 3.6 billion tablets a year.”

The facility will manufacture more than 3.6 billion tablets a year. It will also be capable of packaging three million bottles a month when operating at full capacity.

The parental facility will produce MDR-TB injection Capreomycin and more than 40 million units of Murine® eye drops, one of the biggest over-the-counter (OTC) eye drop brand in the US.

Financing for Aspen Pharma’s new facility

The Republic of South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry provided Aspen Pharma with R209m ($16m) in tax incentives under its 12I tax incentive.

The tax incentive is designed to support greenfield investments such as new industrial projects and brownfield investments, including retrofitting and upgrading of existing industrial projects.

Benefits of Aspen Pharma’s new plant

Investment in the new facility will enable Aspen to increase and expand its product portfolio that requires complex manufacturing processes.

The facility will also strengthen South Africa’s export capability by adding skilled workforce and introducing new technologies.

More than 90% of the jobs generated at the new facility will be from the local and surrounding communities.

Marketing commentary on Aspen Pharma

Based in South Africa, Aspen is a pharmaceutical company that provides generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of acute and chronic diseases.

The company’s product portfolio includes oral solid dose products, liquids, biologicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and infant nutrition products. Aspen supplies its products to more than 150 countries globally.

Aspen is present in more than 50 countries across six continents employing more than 10,000 people. It has more than 28 manufacturing facilities at eight locations around the world, including three in South Africa.

The company employs more than 3,000 members across Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, and East London sites of South Africa.

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