Construction of the plant - located in the Andhra Pradesh State of India - began in 2012 and West announced yesterday it has formally opened the facility which is set to become West’s first manufacturing site in India, producing seals used in primary packaging of injectable drugs.
A West spokesman told Outsourcing-Pharma.com the plant formed part of the firm’s strategy of partnering with customers in the region. “By opening our first facility in India, we will meet market demand for our primary packaging for injectable medicines in a very dynamic emerging region.”
Though the company expects the plant to attract new customers in both India and the broader Asia-Pacific markets, it will also be used to benefit current customers, he continued.
“When the Sri City facility opens, we anticipate a reduction in lead times for supply to our customers in India and the greater Asia-Pacific region. By leveraging our global sourcing activities and process engineering expertise, we expect to be able to carefully manage the overall costs of production.”
The 15,300m2 facility lies on 72,800m2 of land leased in the Sri City Special Economic Zone (SEZ), about 55km north of Chennai. The SEZ status encourages companies from different industries to invest in Sri City through benefits such as tax exemptions, self-certification, and a solid infrastructure set up.
This site becomes the third plant operating as part of West’s Asia-Pacific network. West opened an injection moulding facility in Shanghai, China, in 2009 but said at the time differences in regulations and cultural practices made the whole process “very tedious.” A second Shanghai plant opened last year , joining West’s Singapore operations in Asia.
As for the challenges in constructing and opening a plant in India, we were told: “Every country has opportunities and challenges in terms of how we operate our plants,” but “we have had a good experience in getting our operation up and running in India.”
He continued: “Given the substantial global footprint we have at West, we have developed best practices for plant operations and we will be employing those in India, so that we can best meet our customers’ needs.”