Emmanuel Macron committed in June 2020, at the end of the first wave of Covid-19, to relocate the production of active ingredients used in the manufacture of basic drugs, now all designed in China or India. A promise on the verge of being honored: a paracetamol manufacturing plant will be built in Isère, Roussillon, the first step towards the reconquest of the medical sovereignty of France.
This new production unit will see the light of day almost on the site of the former Rhodia paracetamol plant, which closed in 2008. It is therefore a strong symbol of this French desire to relocate its essential productions. To be able to compete with low-cost countries, a new approach was needed, explains to Europe 1 Gildas Barreyre, energy and public affairs director of Seqens, a French company specializing in active ingredients. “Today, the paracetamol market is a market with competition that comes mainly from India, which drives costs down,” he notes. “Concretely, the challenge was to offer solutions to have a more automated unit, which allows relocation while being competitive in Europe.”
One billion boxes for the French and European markets
“This manufacturing unit will be capable of producing 10,000 tonnes per year of paracetamol”, adds Gildas Barreyre. This figure is equivalent to the production of one billion boxes per year. This will also create 130 direct and indirect jobs.
Total cost of the project: 100 million euros, one third of which is paid for by the State, underlines Samy Sisaïd, the sub-prefect for Relance in Isère. “During the first wave, we saw that there were many common drugs whose sovereignty we had to recover in France. This explains our desire, in these strategic sectors, to completely regain our independence,” he argues. .
The plant will be operational in 2023. It will supply the French and European markets.