Life sciences

Investment will boost export ambitions for BASF on Lewis

A Hebridean life sciences business looks set increase productivity, expand its international market and create more jobs.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has invested £2.8m to create a new warehouse and car park extension at BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd in Breasclete, together with the company’s own financial support.

The company occupies a factory on the site, which is owned by HIE, and currently employs around 80 people. As it expands its operations internationally, it is expected to create more jobs over the next few years.

The team of highly skilled experts based at the factory produces highly purified omega 3 rich fatty acids. Using patented processing technology and sustainable oil supplies, the products are used in pharmaceutical and dietary supplements, most of which are exported around the world.

The new warehouse will help service high market demand for products produced at Breasclete due to the current facility being at full capacity. Additional space in the car park will accommodate the increase in staff numbers.

The official opening of the new warehouse and car park will be carried out by Angus MacNeil MP for h-Eileanan an Iar on Friday 30 June.

BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd has grown the facility significantly since it took over from the previous tenant, Equateq in 2012 which had been operating from the base since 2006, employing eight people at its inception.

The company is a subsidiary of the BASF Group which is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and has headquarters in Germany.

BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd was one of two companies from the region who were successful at this year’s Life Sciences Awards – winning the won the Export and International Trade category.

HIE has worked with BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd and its predecessor Equateq over many years to establish and grow this important business.

Chair of HIE Lorne Crerar was a guest speaker at the opening. He said: ”BASF has already achieved a great deal on Lewis, developing a highly successful scientific business providing well paid employment and trading internationally from an island location.

“HIE has supported the company’s growth over several years, and we are delighted to have played a role in enabling this latest investment to strengthen it further.

“This is a vote of confidence in Breasclete, and in the Highlands and Islands life sciences sector which is one of our most important industries.”

Chris Scarrott, Site Manager of BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd, said: “The new warehouse facility is designed and constructed in collaboration with HIE. We are thrilled with the facility and proud to have worked with HIE to achieve its success. It is an important building to support the growth required to create a truly sustainable operation at BASF Pharma (Callanish) Ltd on Lewis. The geographical location of the plant meant that creating such a facility on site was key to our development.

“The facility has been custom designed to accommodate the active pharmaceutical ingredients we manufacture within the strict guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practice as regulated by International Regulators who govern Pharmaceutical manufacturing. Our products are technically complex and hence require specific storage conditions, which will be precisely achieved and maintained by the new facility.

BASF is delighted to have an operation on the Isle of Lewis and pleased that this in turn gives us the opportunity to contribute to the Island’s economy and communities.”


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