Jonas Roosens

Pfizer to invest 1.2 billion euro at its Puurs production site

The American pharmaceutical company Pfizer has annouced that it is to invest more than 1.2 billion euros in its production facility at Puurs-Sint-Amands (Antwerp Province) during the next 3 years. In a statement released on Friday the company said that "Pfizer Puurs played a crucial role in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with the production of a corona vaccine and is important as a "launch site" for innovative medicines". This is the largest investment ever at the site. It is estimated that around 250 additional jobs will be created at the Puurs plant.

The 1.2-billion-euro investment package will be the largest ever in the history of Pfizer’s Puurs site. The company says that it is part of its commitment to expanding its manufacturing capacity in Europe.

Pfizer Puurs played a crucial role in the production of one of the world's first COVID-19 vaccines. The Site Manager of Pfizer Puurs Luc Van Steenwinkel told VRT News that "The plant at Puurs made the impossible happen. Our COVID-19 vaccine has received an emergency use authorisation in more than 150 countries worldwide. This investment will contribute to the fight against the pandemic and provide a large-scale platform for the development of new drugs and vaccines.”

250 new jobs

Pfizer’s Executive Vice President Mike McDermott said "I am very pleased that this investment will allow us to further support vaccine and drug production," McDermott also emphasizes the Puurs site's importance in "producing groundbreaking drugs that change the lives of patients."

The investment is targetted towards three areas: expansion of production capacity, expansion of cold storage options and expansion of packaging processes. An estimated to 250 additional jobs will be created at Pfizer’s Puurs site. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Pfizer Puurs' workforce has already grown from 2,800 to 4,500.

The Federal Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Flemish liberal) told journalists that “I am very proud that Pfizer has again chosen Belgium”.

“The combination of skilled biopharmaceutical and scientific experts in Belgium, our central geographic location and our extensive logistical network are unparalleled”.

Mr De Croo added that “This investment will contribute to pandemic preparedness in Europe and is a recognition of the enormous contribution made by all the employees of Pfizer Belgium during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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