MHD signs agreement to establish Pen-G, Oman’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing plant

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Muscat: Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC (MHD LLC), one of the largest and pioneering companies in the Sultanate of Oman, has signed an agreement with Ali Moosa Al Bulushi, National Bank of Oman (NBO) and SOHAR Freezone to the establishment of a one-of-a-kind pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – Penicillin General Integrated Industrial Company (Pen-G). Under the agreement, Pen-G will be jointly owned by MHD LLC and Ali Moosa Al Bulushi and will establish a state-of-the-art fermentation plant for manufacturing key pharmaceutical start-up materials in the SOHAR Freezone. NBO will participate as the main bank through which the project is financed.

The signing ceremony took place on Wednesday, April 06, 2022, at Pen-G’s head office in Ghala. Were present at the signing ceremony Ali Moosa Al Bulushi; Mohammed Abdullah Al Kharusi – Chairman and CEO, MHD LLC; Abdullah Zahran Al Hinai, Managing Director, National Bank of Oman; and Omar bin Mahmood Al Mahrizi, General Manager of SOHAR Freezone and Deputy General Manager of SOHAR Port. Also present at the event were other members of management and senior management from each of the four companies.

Commenting on the project, Mohammed Al Kharusi said, “In 2020, the global pharmaceutical industry generated revenues of US$1.27 trillion, which represents significant growth over the past two decades. Our goal with Pen-G is twofold. First, we would like to officially place Oman on the world map for start-up medicine raw materials and enter this lucrative industry, and second, we would like to pursue our goal of establishing ourselves as a key contributor to Oman Vision 2040 and by extension , the government’s national diversification efforts. In addition, our location in the SOHAR Free Zone, right next to the country’s largest industrial port, gives us immediate access to global trade routes between Asia and Europe, both for the acquisition of raw materials and for the export of our product.

The Pen-G fermentation plant will be the first of its kind in the region and was originally designed to have two blocks for the manufacture of penicillin-G and 6-APA (penicillanic amino acid) respectively. They are key starting materials for the most widely used group of antibiotics, penicillin and cephalosporins. There are also plans to eventually add another block for making key starter materials for erythromycin. Additionally, the plant was designed from the outset to fully comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations, ensuring that all products produced meet global standards.

The project was designed by Ali Moosa Al Bulushi, a proven, dynamic and multidisciplinary project director and program manager. He was a banker for almost two decades before entering the pharmaceutical sector, implementing and providing comprehensive project life cycle management services for various pharmaceutical projects in India and Oman. Commenting on the Pen-G project, he said, “This project is at the heart of my ever-evolving dream of creating value in Oman in the pharmaceutical sector. Penicillin G represents added value at the feedstock stage of antibiotic manufacturing – an area currently dominated by China. Once fully operational, this plant will meet the demand for penicillin GK raw material amounting to nearly 10% of global consumption.

Omar bin Mahmood Al Mahrizi said: “The growth of the SOHAR pharmaceutical cluster is an important step in the development of the port and the free zone with considerable benefits for the local community, both in terms of investment and access. to the finished product. This pharmaceutical project, the second project after our animal vaccination facility, will add significant value to our three objectives. We are confident that the plant operated by Penicillin General Integrated Industrial Company will provide the impetus for further investment in the pharmaceutical industry and the potential for SOHAR to become the major industry hub in the region.

Abdullah Zahran Al Hinai said, “The pharmaceutical industry has endless potential to transform Oman’s national economy and we welcome SOHAR’s first major project. It is a proud moment for the bank to be able to support the development of a new high-growth sector and allow Penicillin General Integrated Industrial Company to move forward with its pioneering plans. NBO strongly believes in the power of technology and innovation, and regularly invests in projects that leave a lasting legacy and, more importantly, an impact on the country, its economy and its people.

“With MHD – one of Oman’s leading business houses, SOHAR Freezone – the largest and most important free zone in the country, and NBO – a market leading bank, I couldn’t ask for better more experienced partners to make this dream come true. My sincere thanks to each of them and I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership in the foreseeable future,” concluded Ali Moosa Al Bulushi.

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