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EUROAPI invests €40 million to increase vitamin B12 production at its Normandy plant

The active pharmaceutical ingredient producer, a spin-off of Sanofi, announced in early January 2023 a project to increase by 60% the production capacity of its Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf plant, the only one outside Asia to produce B12.

26 Jan 2023

After an investment of €24 million announced in July 2022 for the construction of a biomass boiler, EUROAPI confirmed its willingness to reorient and increase its vitamin B12 production capacities in Europe, to meet the needs of its customers. This strategy is in line with the ambitions of the France 2030 Recovery Plan, which aims among other things to ensure France’s health sovereignty. The company has therefore received €7.9 million in aid from the French government, via France Relance but also the Normandy region and the Seine-Normandy Water Agency.

“France is ideally placed to repatriate molecules from abroad and play an important role in the current problem of returning production to Europe, at a competitive cost and employing an ecological and reliable method,” said Karl Rotthier, Chief Executive Officer of EUROAPI. 

The Covid-19 crisis has called into doubt the globalization of supply. EUROAPI’s customers are now less focused on price and more on the proximity of the supply chain. “They are looking for an alternative to China. We are able to offer them more products, with a huge commitment,” said Karl Rotthier. The Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf site has been producing vitamin B12 through fermentation since 1966.

EUROAPI has 6 production sites in Europe: 2 in France, 1 in the UK, 1 in Germany, 1 in Hungary and 1 in Italy. It has around 530 customers in more than 80 countries.

“This key investment in France will enable us to increase our production by 60% at our Saint-Aubin-lès-Elbeuf plant, in a dynamic vitamin B12 market, which is growing at 6-7% per annum. It will also increase the level of differentiation of our portfolio, while implementing technology for greener production,” Karl Rotthier, CEO of EUROAPI. 

The €40 million investment in the Normandy site will finance an expansion of the plant with new equipment, production lines and facilities. Optimal production capacity is expected to be achieved by 2027. 

The company also intends to push ahead with the deployment of its new vitamin B12 fermentation technology on both the future production line and those already in place, with the ambition not only of increasing yield but also with a view to achieving sustainable development. As it uses no nitrites or molasses, the new process will reduce waste and cut water consumption in half.

As its name suggests, EUROAPI specializes in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The company has 200 of the approximately 5,000 APIs listed in the world. It is the world leader in the production of APIs for small molecules.

165 of its APIs are sold to external customers as part of its API Solutions business. “Our independence has opened the doors to a whole new world that allows us to approach large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that need our molecules,” Karl Rotthier said.

EUROAPI is also developing its CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) activity, which is constantly growing. “We want to go further in this market, by developing our portfolio and investing more in our facilities, which benefit from a unique position and  strong demand,” the CEO continued. Listed on Euronext on May 6, 2022, EUROAPI plans to invest €510 million in its various European sites between 2022 and 2025.

The demand for vitamin B12 is very high, in both the pharmaceutical and nutritional sectors. It fuels some of the body’s most fundamental processes, including DNA synthesis, red blood cell production, and regulation of the nervous system.

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