By Sahil Pandey
New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): With the talks of starting COVID-19 vaccination doing round in India, Luxembourg based B Medical System is all set to start a specialised refrigerated vaccine transportation plant in Gujarat to ensure last mile drug delivery to villages across the country.
The B Medical system Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Luc Provost and Deputy CEO Jesal Doshi are currently in India for the transfer of technology from Luxumbourg to India, and also to set up a manufacturing site in Gujarat. This is the first time in the company's history that they are establishing a plant outside their native land.
"A day after a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, we were contacted by Ambassador of India to EU, Belgium, and Luxembourg and two weeks later, we are already here with a team in India. The purpose of this visit is to transfer the technology from Luxembourg to India and also to set up a manufacturing site in India in a very short time frame. Gujarat will be the main state where we will be investigating main sites for production," CEO Provost told ANI here.
Speaking about the product and transfer of technology Provost said that his company has experience in dealing with different kinds of vaccines.
"Our technology will be transferable, and interesting things about our medical products is that we have solutions for all types of vaccines and we have experience with different types like negative 80 degrees Celsius with Ebola. It can be used for Pfizer vaccine that is stored at negative 70 degrees Celsius and Moderna vaccine that is stored at negative 20 degrees Celsius with a single product," said the CEO.
"We have a solar solution which can hold the temperature for even one month and even when the sun is not there," CEO added.
B Medical system has the approved direct investment between10-15 million euros and there is an indirect cost where training and logistics costs are additional.
The Deputy CEO, Jesal Doshi said that all the equipment used in their devices are made in Luxembourg, and no component is imported from China.
"This is a big decision for us and I feel proud as an Indian that out of Luxembourg, India will be the first country for where we will be manufacturing," said Doshi.
On the company's upcoming facility in Gujarat, Doshi said, "I am an Indian and I joined the company five years back. It was my dream to bring the company to India. After the virtual summit between the two Prime Ministers, that dream came true. Prime Minister Modi saw that India needed a cold chain and he invited us. We will manufacture in India and our target is to start manufacturing by March 2021."
States like Maharashtra and Telangana have approached B Medical Systems to provide land for establishing the company's manufacturing unit, but Doshi said the manufacturer is looking to consider Gujarat as their base.
"We will start next year in March, we are looking in Gujarat. We have been in touch with Telangana and Maharashtra. States want to be in the fight against corona," Doshi told ANI.
He also spoke about the pilot project of the company in BYL Nair Charitable Hospital in Mumbai.
"We donated a refrigeration unit to Mumbai BYL Nair Charitable Hospital which is under Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) some four months back. I met the mayor she agreed. We donated one unit to the hospital for the COVID-19 testing vaccine. Feedback from the doctors has been amazing," Doshi said.
The Luxembourg firm is also in touch with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Pune-based Serum Insititute of India for providing them with cooling units for vaccine transportation.
B Medical Systems pioneers in the medical equipment industry. It was founded in 1979 when the World Health Organization (WHO) approached the mother company Electrolux in Vianden to provide a solution for safely storing and transporting vaccines all over the world. It is also a world leader in the blood bank and plasma storage refrigerators. (ANI)
Luxembourg firm to set up cold chain facility for COVID vaccine in Gujarat
ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2020 22:54 IST
By Sahil Pandey