▶주메뉴 바로가기

▶본문 바로가기

The Korea Herald
검색폼

THE INVESTOR
April 24, 2024

Market Now

Samsung Biologics expansion ahead of schedule

  • PUBLISHED :October 19, 2023 - 09:51
  • UPDATED :October 19, 2023 - 09:51
  • 폰트작게
  • 폰트크게
  • facebook
  • sms
  • print

The construction site of Samsung Biologics' fifth plant in Songdo, Incheon (Shim Woo-hyun/The Korea Herald)

In a wide open space just a few minutes away from Samsung Biologics’ first Bio Campus in Songdo, Incheon, the company’s Plant 5 is under construction. Prefabricated concrete-based frames implemented in a neatly controlled construction environment provide a glimpse into the company's new facility, which would further consolidate the firm’s leadership as the world’s largest contract development and manufacturing organization, or CDMO.

On Tuesday, Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of Samsung Group, invited a group of local media outlets to share the construction progress of the upcoming fifth plant and its vision for growth.

“Around 32 percent of the construction has been completed as of October,” said Lo Kun, executive vice president and head of the EPCV (engineering, procurement, construction and validation) Center. “Samsung Biologics originally planned to complete the construction by September of 2025, but the company decided to push the date forward by five months, considering the market situation."

With the new plant with a production capacity of 180,000 liters, the company’s total capacity is expected to surge to a world-leading 784,000 liters.

"The company’s plan is to maintain around 30 percent share in the market," Lo added.

Samsung Biologics has been increasing its manufacturing capacity as demand for CDMOs has been soaring in recent years. Over the last 12 years, Samsung Biologics has added new plants in its first Bio Campus and now operates a total of four biomanufacturing facilities. Their combined manufacturing capacity reaches 604,000 liters.

Samsung Biologics’ Plant 5 is the first of the four plants that the company plans to build within the 360,000 square-meter site of the second Bio Campus where more than 10,000 employees will work.

Samsung Biologics plans to build more plants in phases, with the sixth one by 2027 and the seventh and eighth ones by 2032. When their constructions are completed as planned, the company’s combined capacity will surge to some 1.3 million liters.

A total of 7.5 trillion won ($5.6 billion) of investment will be made for the second Bio Campus alone, according to Samsung Biologics. When completed, the plants will be used to manufacture mainly antibody drugs.

Lo Kun, executive vice president and head of the EPCV (engineering, procurement, construction and validation) Center at Samsung Biologics speaks during a brief held at the company's headquarters in Songdo, Incheon. (Samsung Biologics)

“Samsung Biologics may add new facilities to produce other modalities, but the company is not planning on that at least at the moment,” Lo added.

To speed up the overall construction process, Samsung Biologics has chosen a modular construction method and used precast concrete components.

Other three plants that will be built in the region also will share the fifth plant’s design to increase efficiency in several ways.

Samsung Biologics decided to take a cookie-cutter approach for its new plants for greater efficiency in maintenace, with shared designs and components. Lo added the company can reduce the time required for good manufacturing practice validations and education of employees, who will be relocated among the almost identical four plants.

“The company also decided to make three-story plants to increase efficiency, unlike the existing four-story plants,” according to Lo.

The four plants will also be connected through a "main spine" bridge. The bridge, which will connect the second and third floors of the new plants, will be used as passage for both employees and drug materials.

On top of the new plants, there will be solar panels, which will help reduce 11,070 metric tons of carbon emissions together with its new heating system. Ultimately, the second Bio Campus aims to bring down carbon emissions by 20 percent in the future.

Besides the biomanufacturing plants, Samsung Biologics will also build an open innovation center and welfare facilities for employees.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

EDITOR'S PICKS