SK Bioscience signs ₩150 billion deal to boost vaccine production

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SK Bioscience signs ₩150 billion deal to boost vaccine production

SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong, center, poses for a photo with North Gyeongsang Gov. Lee Cheol-woo, left, and Andong City Mayor Kweon Young-sae after signing a memorandum of understating to expand production capacity of its vaccine factory and purchase new land on Monday at L House in Andong, North Gyeongsang. [SK BIOSCIENCE]

SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong, center, poses for a photo with North Gyeongsang Gov. Lee Cheol-woo, left, and Andong City Mayor Kweon Young-sae after signing a memorandum of understating to expand production capacity of its vaccine factory and purchase new land on Monday at L House in Andong, North Gyeongsang. [SK BIOSCIENCE]

 
SK Bioscience, a contract manufacturer of Covid-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Novavax, will spend 150 billion won ($132 million) by 2024 to ramp up the production capacity of its facility in Andong, North Gyeongsang.
 
SK Bioscience said on Monday it has signed a memorandum of understating (MOU) with the North Gyeongsang Provincial Government and Andong city government to expand its vaccine production facility.
 
The company plans to buy more area near the plant to accommodate the increased production. SK Bioscience says an additional 99,130 square meters (1.07 million square feet) of land near its factory to expand the size of its vaccine manufacturing plant. With the plan, the company is expected to own a total of 161,000 square meters for its vaccine manufacturing factory.

 
The investment will also go toward building facilities to develop vaccines utilizing messenger mRNA technology, which recently came under the spotlight amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Currently, Moderna and Pfizer produce mRNA vaccines — a more sophisticated technology that only the United States is using.
 
North Gyeongsang Provincial Government and Andong city government promised full support for the company's plan, according to the statement released by the company. Andong city government will provide financial subsidies for SK Bioscience to train potential engineers to work in its factory in the future.
 
“In order to make Korea the global hub of vaccine production, we need a strategy in which the central government, local government and company can work together, and this MOU is a good example,” said SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong. “Through the L House, we will make Andong the center of global vaccine production.”
 
L House is the name of the company's vaccine manufacturing site. 
 
BY SARAH CHEA   [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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