The company said that the expansion was part of its strategy of growing exports of its pharma lines, which include directly compressible sugars for tabletting, calcium carbonate granules, tablet coatings and timed-release systems, including its recently re-launched Sugar Spheres NF.
"We have expanded our exports by 40 per cent in the last three years to more than $19 million," said Donald Combs, chief executive of Chr Hansen North America. Total group sales in the first half of this financial year, reported at the end of April, were around €295 million.
The upgrade of the facility will help Chr Hansen comply with expanding regulatory standards for its pharmaceutical products, both in the US and globally, and what it described as 'increasingly sophisticated customer expectations for a total solution, from specialised formulations to custom packaging to specific volume requests'.
A second round of investment, estimated at $10-$12 million, is earmarked for a planned Research and Application Centre. This project could get underway in the next 12-18 months, although Chr Hansen said that this project is still very much at the planning stage.