Protel Industry Focus – Pharmaceutical – France, Belgium & The Netherlands – 2015

Pharma Europe Industry Focus

In this article we aim to present a quick and easy to digest run-down of the main trends and developments in a highlighted sector of the process manufacturing industries in one of our covered regions. For more information on the areas we cover, click here.

The French pharmaceutical market has been hit harder by the global period of recession and is marked by smaller investment activity by numerous organisations, and Benelux is seeing continued large investments from a few major players in rationalisation/upgrade projects with smaller organisations starting to increase production activity.

Protel are currently tracking 278 active pharmaceutical and laboratory projects in Benelux with a potential total investment value of €3.4bn. In the same sectors in France there are currently 208 active projects totalling €2.1bn. (Data taken from our MyProtel project search engine, find out more here.)

Belgium & The Netherlands

Activity remains buoyant as organisations continue to expand production efforts in the region. However, there seems to have been a degree of change recently in Belgium and the Netherlands with a few major companies – Sanquin, Teva and Baxter – slowing investment in production.

Companies involved with specialist areas of research are thriving in Belgium and the Netherlands. While bigger companies are currently reviewing production investment some smaller organisations are expected to expand production.

Packaging is strong in Benelux and investment in this is anticipated to grow further due to current EU regulations encouraging the packaging of products in the region. There is a concerted focus across both regions to invest in energy saving and efficiency projects to meet increasingly strict legislation requirements. Vaccine production is a significant area of both current ongoing and planned investment.

Many UK and Irish engineering houses are looking to Benelux as a target for additional work.

5 of the biggest investors of projects currently underway are (data taken from our MyProtel project search engine):

Pfizer – Puurs / Louvain-la-Neuve – €100m of expansion currently underway with a further €100m planned
GlaxoSmithKline – Rixensart / Wavre – €230m in vaccine production expansion underway at Wavre with €323m redevelopment work planned at Rixensart
Merck-Sharp-Dohme – Oss – €15m steriles production expansion underway with €90m further expansion planned
Bilthoven Biologicals – Bilthoven – €200m vaccine centre investment planned
Abbott Biologicals – Olst – €25m of vaccine production expansion investment underway with €150m of further work planned.


The French pharmaceutical market has seen strong investment from smaller players across the country with some notable ‘hubs’ developing in the North and South. Despite a period of recession that is still persisting across the French economy, pharmaceutical project spending has remained relatively consistent. This spending is divided among a greater number of lower value projects than those that are underway or planned in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Strong areas of focus are in water conservation, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. EU legislation on the subject has resulted in strong opportunities in these environmental areas.

Another area of opportunity is for packaging solutions – the drive to package products in Europe presents significant opportunity for domestic or international suppliers in France.

5 of the biggest investors of projects currently underway are (data taken from our MyProtel project search engine):

Eli Lilly – Fegersheim – €100m investment recently completed, with €40m of further work recently approved
Sanofi-Pasteur – Marcy-l’Étoile – €120m of vaccine production and processing upgrades underway with €15m awaiting approval
Merial (Sanofi) – Lyon – €42m of projects boosting vaccines production and R&D currently underway with a new €50m facility awaiting approval
Septodont – Sain-Maur-Des-Fosses – €30m production facility underway
Schering-Plough – Hérouville Saint-Claire – €25m of process upgrades recently completed with €8m more planned at the site.

To gain information on specific projects or gain more insight into this sector, including all the contact details you need to start your sales process at the right time, get in touch.

This entry was posted in News on September 11, 2015