West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. plans to start up its first plastics plant in China by mid-2009.
Construction was originally due to start in early 2007, but ground actually was broken in January 2008. West Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Don Morel said in a Feb. 21 conference call with analysts that the project had been delayed because of ``government policies on land-use rights.''
Construction should be finished by the end of 2008. Output will be sold to a single, undisclosed customer, he said.
The plant, in Shanghai, will be a bottle blow molding facility employing about 116, according to a West company spokeswoman. The company will build a cap injection molding facility next door in a few years, she said.
However, West's Shanghai operation said in a recent news release that the cap plant will be finished in mid-2009, with production beginning by the end of 2009.
The Shanghai facility will represent an initial investment of $20 million and an expected total investment of $80 million. It will occupy 260,000 square feet.
The China project is one of several West expansions under way around the world on which the firm expects to spend $140 million in 2008. The company is also in the process of planning a rubber components factory in China, said a Singapore-based spokesman for West, Kwong Toh Lum.
``The Chinese government is strengthening its supervision of the pharmaceutical industry. In the meantime, multinational companies are expanding their investment and domestic producers are also adapting international standards to improve quality,'' the release said. ``Our new China factory will help meet these needs in the market.''