CDMO Lotte breaks ground on $3.3bn Korea ‘mega plant’

Lotte Biologics begins construction of its 202,285 square-meter site in Songdo, Korea, with an investment of approximately 4.6 trillion won ($3.3 billion).

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

July 8, 2024

2 Min Read
DepositPhotos/Rateland

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Lotte bought the land in October 2023. According to the firm, each plant will have a production capacity of 120,000 L, totaling 360,000 L. The site will create 37,000 jobs.

Plant one, a mammalian cell culture facility, will begin construction this year, and comprise a titer flex quad bioreactor system, the firm said. It will feature 15,000 L stainless steel bioreactors to meet current needs and 3,000 L stainless steel for high titer production. It is expected to be completed by 2026.

“With the commencement of construction on the first plant, completion is scheduled for the Q1 of 2026, followed by GMP approval in the Q4 of 2026, and the start of commercial production in 2027. The goal is to have three plants fully operational by 2034, with an expected revenue of $3 billion,” a spokesperson for Lotte told BioProcess Insider.

Announced in January 2023, this expansion materializes the Korean CDMO’s plans to invest $3 billion over the next seven years to construct three ‘mega’ plants in Korea. Plant Two is projected to be operational by 2027, followed by Plant Three in 2030. With full-scale operations expected to commence by 2034, the manufacturing capacity of the CDMO will increase up to 400,000 L.

Recently, the Korean drugmaker Lotte and MilliporeSigma signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for biopharmaceutical manufacturing and process development.

In April 2023, the firm partnered with Excellgene to expand its Syracuse plant and construct a factory in Korea, followed by Lotte collaborating with Roche to set up an educational program for the smooth operation of the Bio-Venture Initiative to be established within the Mega Plant Campus in August of the same year.

Advancing its anti-body drug conjugate (ADC) ambitions, Lotte established several strategic partnerships with Pino Bio, Kanaph Therapeutics, and NJ Bio.

The site is in Songdo, an area that has seen immense growth in bioproduction. The region houses a 350,000 square-meter manufacturing space for fellow CDMO Samsung Biologics, while Korean drugmaker Celltrion has three biomanufacturing facilities in the region, which is located 53 km from Korea’s capital, Seoul.

“Songdo Bio Campus is expected to play a pivotal role in transforming Songdo into an international bio hub,” the spokesperson said. “This investment is expected to positively impact the local bio industry in terms of economic growth and job creation in the Songdo region. As a bio cluster, Songdo's greatest strength lies in its accessibility to Incheon International Airport and Incheon port.”

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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