Helvoet Pharma starts work on Indian packaging plant

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Special economic zone Pharmacology

Helvoet Pharma breaks begins construction of INR1.2bn ($26.5m) primary packaging plant which, it hopes, will help boost export volumes.

The new facility, near the city of Pune in Maharashtra state, will pack packaging for parenteral pharmaceuticals and diagnostic products for sale in Europe and North America and is Helvoet’s first in Asia

Dirk Borghs, Helvoet’s VP of global purchasing told in-Pharma technologist that the firm “decided to build this manufacturing unit in India because of its growing dominance in the Asian Pharma market.

He explained that while “cost efficiency [was] an important factor but not the main driver for this investmen​t, India is the center of excellence for Pharma operations of generic products and is becoming a major player for branded products​.”

The new plant, plans for which were first unveiled in February​, will, according to Borghs, serve both the local pharmaceutical industry [and] global pharmaceutical companies in India when fully operational in 2012.

However, he continued, “the initial focus however is strongly on export volumes which will be transferred from existing plants, while we further develop our presence in the Indian domestic market​.”

Holvoet said it will invest a further €14m ($19m) in the facility in next two years, and suggested that its location at the heart of Maharashtra state’s MIDC Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will help it find both customers and highly trained personnel.

India's potential

The Belgian drug packaging maker, which is part of the Daetwyler Group, currently generates around €2m a year in India but, as CEO Guido Wallraff suggested, sees significant potential to expand in the country.

He predicted that, while already established as a manufacturing centre, the country will become a “significant healthcare consumer market​” over the next few years as public demand for effective drugs continues to increase.

Our confidence in the Indian market is reflected in our long association with the country. Our engagement dates back to 1991 when we started collaboration in India for distribution of our products.”

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