Manufacturing plant expansion
Life Sciences Enterprise Area, Irvine, Scotland
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) opened its expanded antibiotics facility in Irvine, Scotland, in February 2016. The plant produces GSK’s antibiotic drugs, including potassium clavulanate, which is sold under the brand name Augmentin.
Construction on the facility’s expansion began in 2013, with the aim to expand the company’s antibiotics production capacity to serve 100 million more patients a year.
The expansion created 55 jobs in Irvine and involved an investment of around £70m ($98.8m).
GSK has invested more than $280m to further develop its sites in Irvine and Montrose, Scotland, since 2013. The Irvine expansion project was awarded a $1.5m Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant by Scottish Enterprise.
Location of the GlaxoSmithKline antibiotic plant in Irvine
GSK’s antibiotic facility is located in i3, Irvine’s life sciences enterprise area. Established in 1973, i3 is the biggest enterprise area in Scotland.
i3’s strategic location offers world-class infrastructure and utilities, including development-ready sites, high-speed broadband, electricity, gas and water.
The site accommodates a major proportion of GSK’s secondary global production operations. It produces a wide range of chemicals and antibiotics such as penicillin G and clavulanate acid, serving specific clinical trials and commercial production.
Details of the GlaxoSmithKline Irvine plant expansion
The expansion increased the plant’s production capacity for antibiotics to meet growing demand in emerging markets. The plant primarily produces Augmentin, which is used in the treatment of pneumonia, bronchitis and skin infections.
The expanded facility is equipped with chillers, tankage, a 24m-high solvent tower, crystallisers, dryers and centrifuges. The facility’s control room accommodates various devices that monitor and manage each stage of the production process.
Contractors involved in the expansion project
A $13.8m contract was awarded to Irish contractor Kirby Engineering and Construction to provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services, including fabricating and installing piping, ductwork services, and electrical and instrumentation services.
Scotland-based civil engineering and construction firm Luddon Construction was awarded a $4.86m contract to provide civil and building construction services for the project. This included building seven separate structures and an asphalt road, as well as installing barriers and fencing.
Marketing commentary on GlaxoSmithKline
GSK is engaged in the research and development (R&D) of innovative products in the areas of vaccines, medicines and consumer healthcare products. It currently has offices in more than 115 countries and produces biopharmaceutical and prescription products.
The company develops a range of products for the treatment of respiratory, oncology, cardiovascular, metabolic, urology, immune-inflammatory and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diseases.