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Germany-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is constructing a new large-scale cell culture (LSCC) facility at its site in Vienna, Austria.
Boehringer announced plans to construct the new production facility in December 2015, with an estimated investment of €700m ($746m). Construction started in April 2017, while operations are scheduled to begin in 2021.
The investment is part of Boehringer’s strategy to expand and strengthen its biopharmaceuticals network. It will enable the company to respond to the rapidly growing demand for biopharmaceuticals.
The project is expected to create more than 500 new jobs in Vienna.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s biopharmaceutical production facility details
The new biopharmaceutical production facility is Boehringer’s first expansion project at its Vienna site and will include an energy centre, a biopharma logistics centre and a biopharma production and quality building.
The facility will be used to produce active ingredients using cell cultures and will be capable of handling capacities of more than 150,000l. It will also be Boehringer ’s fourth plant to handle cell culture technology, alongside the Biberach (Germany), Fremont (US), and Shanghai (China) sites.
In addition, the new facility will develop biopharmaceutical medicinal products for contract manufacturers and expand biopharmaceutical production in the region.
Boehringer is currently producing medicines at the Vienna site using micro-organisms such as yeasts and bacteria. The new facility will be the first to use cell culture technology at the Vienna site.
Construction of Boehringer Ingelheim’s new facility
During its civil engineering phase in July 2017, the project required the excavation of 6,900 truckloads of material.
Boehringer completed the roof of the biopharma production and quality building in September 2018. Construction of the energy centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.
Special equipment is being used for construction, including six rotary drilling rigs, two diaphragm wall units, five rope excavators and ten tower cranes with lifting heights ranging from 30m to 83m.
Contractors involved with the biopharmaceutical production plant
Boehringer Ingelheim selected German construction company PORR Bau as the main contractor for the project under a €20m ($21.4m) contract. Work includes foundation engineering, dense construction pit enclosure, earthworks and other civil engineering activities.
Precast concrete elements provider Peikko Austria was awarded a contract to supply corbels, beam shoes, composite beams and other connection items.
Austria-based civil engineering services provider AXIS Engineering Services is leading the structural design of the new facility, while Architect Podsedensek is handling the architectural design works.
Austrian pre-fabricated concrete products manufacturer Franz Oberndorfer is supplying precast elements for the plant.
Wolf Theiss has been appointed as legal advisor to Boehringer Ingelheim for the planning and construction contracts of the project.
Marketing commentary on Boehringer Ingelheim’s Vienna site
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Vienna site is responsible for the development of prescription medications and veterinary drugs in Austria. It also serves as a cancer research and biopharmaceutical research centre.
The Vienna site houses the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) facility, which was opened in March 2017. It also houses Boehringer Ingelheim’s contract manufacturing business, BioXcellence™.
The site currently employs 1,629 people, which is expected to increase to 2,100, upon completion of the new facility.
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