MONTREAL — The federal government has announced the completion of construction of the new Biologics Manufacturing Centre on the National Research Council of Canada’s Royalmount site in Montreal.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said June 22 the project was completed on budget and ahead of schedule.
Once fully licensed and operational, the 58,000-square-foot biologics centre will have a production capacity of 24 million vaccine doses per year.
Installation of equipment continues and several licensing steps are still required before Health Canada permits use of the facility.
The NRC will work with Novavax to produce the firm’s COVID-19 vaccine once approvals are received.
Federal funding of $126 million for the project was approved last Aug. 31. The NRC is responsible for the construction, fit-up and initial operation of the facility.
Construction of the facility took only 10 months, half the timeline of similar facilities, stated a release. The accelerated timeline was accomplished through project planning that included designing and finalizing the interior layout in parallel with the construction of the building shell; employing multiple teams of contractors to enable consecutive work shifts; and negotiating with suppliers to work within the narrow timeline.
“Everyone involved in this project demonstrated total commitment to the goal of building up Canadian capability to produce vaccines and biologic products. We look forward to putting this facility to use to meet Canadian pandemic preparedness objectives and supporting our life sciences industry,” said NRC president Mitch Davies in the statement.