Biotech giant CSL Group will build a $1 billion vaccine manufacturing facility near Tullamarine airport after signing a deal with the Australian government.
The ASX-listed company will contribute 80 per cent of the project construct a 118,000sq m facility in Melbourne Airport’s Business Park for its subsidiary Seqirus.
The federal government has signed advanced purchase agreements for four types of Covid vaccines, two of which will be manufactured by the Melbourne-based company, with the most successful to be administered next year.
However, these will be produced in the Broadmeadows, Melbourne facility as the new Tullamarine project won’t be complete until mid-2026.
Instead, the facility will use cell-based techniques to produce seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines, Seqirus’ proprietary adjuvant MF59, along with Australian anti-venoms and the world’s only Q-Fever vaccine.
Construction will commence in February next year and is expected to take around three years to build plus a further two years for commissioning.
Once operational, the manufacturing facility will house several hundred staff.
CSL chief executive Paul Perreault said the project is an important addition to the global influenza manufacturing supply chain, incorporating the technology platform used in their Holly Springs, North Carolina facility.
“Cell-based influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages over the existing process including being more scalable and offering faster production—particularly important in the case of influenza pandemics,” Perreault said.
CSL has secured the facility in a long-term tenancy agreement with Melbourne Airport.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said the events of 2020 have seen the airport shift focus away from traditional aviation-related revenue streams.
“We’re firmly focused on expanding and diversifying our property precincts and look forward to partnering with many more quality tenants as we continue to grow the airport.”
The airport is home to four distinct property precincts with 64 brands on site, ranging from Essendon Football Club to Porsche and Toll.