The firm held a ground-breaking ceremony at its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Wuxi New High-Tech Industrial Park in China.
The facility, scheduled to be operational in late 2006, will serve as the production, technical, applications and service hub for the Danisco Genencor Division in China and the Asia Pacific region.
The move reflects growing European interest in the Chinese ingredients market, and underlines the fact that Chinese is increasingly becoming a centre of innovation. "China is a key growth area for the industrial enzyme market and by establishing this new facility, we reinforce our commitment to continue to invest resources to support the growing customer base in this region," said Robert Mayer, CEO of Genencor.
"With the expansion of our global production capacity and capability in China, customers will continue to receive high quality and cutting-edge technologies, products and services from Danisco Genencor."
The new 20,000 square-metre facility is part of the company's overall plan to meet regional customer demand and to expand into the rapidly growing Asian market. The site will feature significant fermentation capacity to produce a wide range of enzyme products for the Danisco Genencor Division's portfolio.
"We looked at many sites and decided to locate in the Wuxi New High-Tech Park, a Chinese national-level development area, which offers many advantages as it is strategically positioned and has excellent infrastructure," said Carole Cobb, senior vice president, Global Supply for Genencor.
"The site also offers the opportunity to retain our current trained workforce and enhance the skill base when needed from the abundance of qualified personnel from the many surrounding universities."
Approximately 200 people attended the opening ceremony at the site, including Danisco Genencor officials, key customers, suppliers and Chinese dignitaries. H.R.H. the Prince Consort of Denmark, the Danish Ambassador to China and the Danish Consular General to Shanghai.
Danisco also reported this week that first quarter sales from its ingredients business managed to offset a hit to its sugar unit. Sales for the group in the first quarter rose to DKK5.16 billion (€0.69bn) from DKK4.21 billion a year ago.
Pretax profit for the three months to July fell to DKK380 million, from DKK546 million. Genencor lifted sales by about DKK600 million, or 24 per cent, and Rhodia Food Ingredients added about DKK100 million to sales.