AZ to invest $100m in Australian manufacturing

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AstraZeneca will invest to expand capacity at its Sydney-based manufacturing facility.

In an announcement made in London, at a meeting between CEO Pascal Soriot and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, the company confirmed $100 million will be invested in the facility.

The investment, which will be used to expand the facility's capacity to manufacture Pulmicort Respules, will see the company add three production lines to the existing eight.

Each production line has the capacity to produce 70 million units per year. The lines are designed and manufactured by Melbourne-based Andrew Donald Design Engineering.

The facility was originally funded by the federal government under the 'Factor F' program, which ran from 1988 to 1999. The expansion reflects rapid growth in demand from China for Pulmicort Respules and follows previous investment by the company in expanding the facility's capacity.

According to Mr Soriot, “AstraZeneca has a 60-year history in Australia of bringing innovative medicines for cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease to patients. Our latest investment is an example of the tremendous opportunities presented by high-tech manufacturing and productivity, creating jobs, boosting exports and ultimately making a positive impact on the Australian economy.”

Mark Morgan, manufacturing director of AstraZeneca Australia commented, “Our manufacturing model is based on high-tech production that is difficult to replicate. The machinery is a credit to Australian engineering excellence and its performance can be attributed to our workforce who achieve significant increases in productivity and efficiency out of the machines.

“Despite the trend for manufacturing businesses to relocate to countries where labour costs are lower, we’re investing and expanding our manufacturing operations in Australia with locally manufactured equipment."