21 September 2022

Interview on why Galderma chose KeyPlants as their partner in building their Life science facility in Uppsala

KeyPlants secures € 75 million order to build life science facility using modular off-site manufacturing

Galderma, the world’s largest independent global dermatological company, has commissioned KeyPlants to build a life science facility in Uppsala, Sweden. The new factory is being built to meet increasing global demand for the company´s aesthetic treatment products.  “This turnkey project is a major breakthrough for modular off-site manufacturing,” says Jörgen Harrysson, CEO of KeyPlants. “The new plant will be the largest life science facility ever built in Scandinavia using modular off-site manufacturing, a method offering advantages such as faster delivery, high predictability, and improved safety.”


Off-site manufacturing


KeyPlants will be responsible for the entire project providing detailed design, ground works and construction on-site, off-site manufacturing, installation of all equipment, as well as qualification to ensure that all process equipment works as planned. A major part of the facility will be manufactured at KeyPlants´ workshop in Vara, Sweden, and then assembled on-site in Uppsala.  “KeyPlants´ expertise includes GMP-compliant pharmaceutical/biotech process design and off-site manufacturing so this is a very important strategic order for us. In addition, it secures employment for about 100 members of the KeyPlants team in Västergötland and Stockholm for the duration of this 2,5-year long project,” Jörgen Harrysson says.


So why did Galderma choose KeyPlants? Per-Olov Wedin, Site Infrastructure Development Lead at Galderma has worked for the company since 2006. His answers to the questions below offer some current insight:


Your job title is “Site Infrastructure Development Lead”. What responsibilities do you have in the process of building a new life science facility in Uppsala? To ensure that the use of the capital we invest in this site is optimized so that Galderma can benefit as much as possible from the investment.


How did you get in touch with KeyPlants? We contacted several engineering firms 8 years ago about tendering a site master plan study for the future development of our site in Uppsala. It was a global initiative that included several international firms as well as a few Swedish ones including KeyPlants. KeyPlants won the procurement, and we then commissioned them to support us in the work to develop a 10-year plan for the Uppsala site. We have been working together several times since.


Why did you choose KeyPlants as your construction contractor? Mostly for three reasons; KeyPlants is known for its turnkey modular solutions within life science. Their modular concept allows us to build our new facility stepwise which gives us important flexibility. Secondly, KeyPlants showed that they have recently finished similar projects. They have good references. The third reason is that Key Plants has production in Sweden. This minimizes transportation risks and makes communication fast and smooth.


Which of KeyPlants´ skills is most important for you regarding this project? Great cooperation is, in general, the most important factor when it comes to a project of this size. Both their communication with us and KeyPlants´ own internal communication need to work very well. That will be crucial in making everything turn out as planned.


Why do you need this new facility? We have been in an expansive phase for a number of years now. The global demand for our products in aesthetic treatments has grown yearly. At the same time, we are innovating and have new products that need new facilities to be produced. We are investing in a change in technology, both in terms of production techniques and the product we are offering our customers.


When do you start building? Here at our Uppsala site preparations started in the autumn of 2021. The actual construction start for the new facility is planned for the autumn of 2022.  


Is there anything unique or special about the way KeyPlants will deliver what you have ordered? Yes, the use of modular off-site manufacturing. This is a method that gives us faster delivery, high predictability, and improved safety. And equally important, it suits our strategy of being able to grow in stages easily.


What are the greatest challenges with this project? The present situation in the world, including the war in Ukraine and the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. There is a general anxiousness in the business world when it comes to international transportation. When the Ever Given, one of the world’s largest container ships got stuck sideways in the Suez Canal in 2021 it dammed up global shipping and froze over 9 billion euros worth of trade per day. That was an eye-opener for us. Today there is also the issue of increasing material costs.


Will you increase your staff? Galderma has been growing for a long time, so we are constantly hiring new professionals for a range of different jobs. We develop and manufacture our products here in Uppsala. When I started here 16 years ago, we had approximately 300 employees; the current figure is over 500. As for our new life science facility, it will create new job opportunities, Per-Olov Wedin, Site Infrastructure Development Lead at Galderma, concludes.