GEA has been chosen by Hanmi Pharmaceutical, one of the largest drug manufacturers in Korea, to supply manufacturing equipment for a new plant that’s currently under construction in the city of Pyeongtaek-si in the Gyeonggi province of South Korea.

GEA is providing two production lines for insulin, including centrifugal separators, fermenters, homogenizers, flow components and a significant number of aseptic valves. The multimillion euro order, received and booked as order intake in 2016, is scheduled for completion during 2017 and further reinforces the cooperative business relationship between the two companies.

One-stop-shop approach

The project represents a successful interdisciplinary collaboration within GEA itself, and with Yujin Hitec, GEA’s long-term distribution partner in the region. “Being able to offer the customer different types of equipment from a single source helped to seal the deal,” says Hoon Seo, Head of Sales at GEA in Korea. 

The order from Hanmi includes equipment for two identical fermentation and media preparation lines, fully equipped with GEA VESTA® valves, for the production of a fragment of human immunoglobulin type G. “As this order is the first of its kind for GEA’s liquid pharma and biopharma groups, incorporating a large number of VESTA® type valves, this marks an historical win,” says Dr Marcus Michel, Head of APC Pharma.

“Among the customer’s requirements was a high level of technical expertise, which is one of GEA’s core competencies,” adds Hoon Seo: “The tight delivery schedule was challenging, but GEA’s technical know-how and advanced state-of-the-art equipment – particularly our centrifugal separators – is well established in the pharmaceutical industry. This, combined with our extensive experience, helped to create a strong bond with the customer.”

Additional orders for an antibiotic plant in Pyeongtaek-si are expected for this year. “We are currently negotiating further equipment orders with Hanmi Pharmaceutical, which again include a large number of VESTA® valves,” says Hoon Seo. “We’re dealing with the largest order for aseptic pharma equipment in GEA’s history. It’s a breakthrough for the company in terms of supplying superior valve technology to the biopharmaceutical sector,” Dr Marcus Michel adds. “I’m convinced that this development will encourage more customers to transition away from diaphragm valves to the philosophy of VESTA®.”

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