Warm reception for new £7m cold storage centre

Jon Tucker (left) from Pfizer with MP David Willetts in the cold store at the New Road site
Jon Tucker (left) from Pfizer with MP David Willetts in the cold store at the New Road site
HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum from the air     Picture: Shaun Roster

‘Nowhere in Europe offers everything Portsmouth does’

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GLOBAL drugs giant Pfizer has given its Havant base a £7m shot in the arm.

Science minister and Havant MP David Willetts opened Pfizer Global Supply’s cold storage facility, where it keeps vaccines before they are shipped around the world.

It tops off £42m of investments in the New Lane site since Pfizer took it over from Wyeth in 2009.

The changes mean the Havant cold storage facility is now the largest of its kind in Europe.

Opening the facility yesterday, Mr Willetts said: ‘It’s great that we in Havant are benefiting from the confidence of this industry.’

The new cold store was built in just a year, and holds around $400m worth of stock, packed high into the eaves.

The vaccines are in syringes and have to be kept at a constant temperature of between two and eight degrees centigrade at all times – even when they arrive in hot places like Dubai, where temperatures are regularly 50 degrees centigrade

The types of drugs shipped from the Havant depot include medicines to treat meningitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, and MRSA.

The cold storage facility will be able to store up to 38.4m doses of temperature sensitive vaccines and other injectable medicines that will be sent all over th world.

Jon Tucker, Pfizer’s Havant site leader, praised the work of all those involved in the building process and Pfizer staff.

He added: ‘It all goes together to make something very special, a £7m building that has 3,500 pallet spaces to store life changing and life saving medicines.

‘These get shipped to 122 destinations around the world – we are a global supplier.’

He said Havant was chosen for the investment because the staff working there are already specialists in medical storage.

He added: ‘People on this site are very proud of what we deliver. Because of the type of business we are, we’re very specialised and we’ve created a niche for ourselves.

‘This new facility is at the height of cold-chain- storage technology and is vital in keeping medicines at the correct temperature that maintains their integrity ready for supply to our customers.

‘The site is recognised as a “centre of excellence for cold chain distribution and packaging”.

‘We have a specialist team here that have developed technologies which are leading the way in this complex area of supply and logistics.

‘It is providing medicines that improve and save lives, and that’s something the entire team here at Havant is proud to be a part of.’