Image Credits Lilly : This is what it could look like: Lilly's high-tech production facility in Alzey. © Lilly
4 minutes read

Eli Lilly: Groundbreaking ceremony for high-tech production site in Alzey

 Eli Lilly drives the 2.3 billion. EUR investment in Alzey (Rhineland-Palatinate) is moving forward at full speed. Together, Lilly CEO Dave Ricks, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, Federal Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer and local officials held the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Lilly production facility today.

The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony was attended by numerous guests from politics, business, industry and society and demonstrated the speed with which Eli Lilly and Company is advancing its investment in Alzey. Less than 12 months have passed from the first inspection of the potential location in May 2023 to the announcement of the investment decision in November 2023 to the groundbreaking ceremony.

Chairman and CEO Dave Ricks praised the cooperation of all local stakeholders and emphasized: “This significant investment underscores our ongoing commitment to patients. The high-tech production site in Alzey will help us to continue to reliably provide safe and high-quality medicines – no matter where in the world they are needed.” Ricks continued: “We appreciate the support of the German authorities in this project and the interest of the local authorities “Politics are interested in creating reliable framework conditions that value innovations and give people quick access to new therapy options.”

Construction of the high-tech production facility in Alzey is expected to begin in summer 2024. More than 2,000 people could be employed in the construction phase – at least 100 more than announced in November 2023. The site is scheduled to be operational in 2027 and will expand Lilly’s production capacity for injectable medications and associated injection devices (pens). This will later be ensured by up to 1,000 highly qualified specialists such as engineers, system operators and scientists. In order to attract these people to Lilly, the company is already actively networking with universities in the region, among others. In addition, Lilly has made its first personnel decisions and is consistently working on setting up the management team for the Alzey location. An experienced site manager has already been named in Paul Holohan, who is currently responsible for a Lilly production facility in Japan.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized: “The settlement of Eli Lilly and Company in Alzey is a positive signal for the attractiveness of Germany as a pharmaceutical and industrial location. Pharma and biotech are very important for value creation, employment and innovation. With the pharmaceutical strategy, the federal government is working to further improve the health, research and economic policy framework for the pharmaceutical location. The settlement in Alzey represents the success of these efforts.”

Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, emphasized: “Today’s groundbreaking is a groundbreaking decision for the region’s pharmaceutical sector and marks a milestone for Rhineland-Palatinate as a biotechnology and business location. The investment of 2.3 billion euros and the creation of 1,000 jobs clearly show the confidence in our region’s economy. And it is proof that our strategy to develop Rhineland-Palatinate into a globally visible biotechnology location is successful. It is also a sign of trust in the good economic conditions of our industrial location. I am pleased about this development and proud to be taking this important step for the future of our country.”

According to Lilly, there were various reasons for Alzey: The company hopes to achieve synergy effects through the favorable location between the German headquarters in Bad Homburg and the French production site in Fegersheim. Another crucial factor was that the entire region is developing dynamically and a leading biotechnology cluster is forming here that attracts skilled workers and enables access to specialists. Lilly was also convinced by the great openness of the city of Alzey and the state of Rhineland-Palatinate to long-term, collaborative cooperation.

With an investment of EUR 2.3 billion, the planned production facility is one of the company’s largest individual investments in recent years. It joins numerous announcements by Lilly to expand its production network worldwide. The research-based pharmaceutical company currently has a total of six plants around the world under development or construction. Lilly’s planned production site in Alzey will later be CO2-neutral. In this way, the plant contributes to the company’s global goal of obtaining 100% of the energy required from renewable energy sources by 2030 and of operating CO2-neutrally in the company’s internal processes.

With the opening of the Alzey factory in 2027, Lilly will operate a total of six production sites in Europe. The investment and the start of construction in the summer are dependent on all official approvals being granted. To achieve this, Lilly is working closely with the local authorities and assumes that all necessary permits will be granted and construction can begin as planned.

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