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Factory brings jobs boost

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags:

A FACTORY which will manufacture an all natural blue colourant opened officially in Lockerbie this week — with promises a jobs boost is on the way.

Fast growing Scottish biotech business, ScotBio, was opened on Tuesday by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

The new facility, located at the town’s Broomhouse Industrial Park, has already created high skilled jobs, with a further 25 posts to be created in the next 18 months.

A spokesman for ScotBio said: “The new factory, which complements the existing research and development and head office facility at BioCity outside Glasgow, will play a key role in the business’s scaling up programme.

“ScotBio has already been successfully testing our pioneering method for producing its natural blue food colourant in a 50,000 litre production tank at the Lockerbie facility.

“Production capacity will increase further over the next 12 months with the addition of several more of the 50,000 litre vessels in operation at the site.

“The company is also looking at a number of additional sites in Europe, the US and the Far East as part of its longer term growth plans.”

He added: “To date, setting up the new facility has been the main activity over the last four months and as a result of that there have been three jobs as part of that process, however when the facility is up to capacity in the next 18 months or so there could be up to 25 new jobs created.

“These will include production, quality control and assurance, engineering and shipping/warehouse. There will also be management positions too.”

Based in BioCity Glasgow, the biotech incubator located just outside Glasgow, ScotBio has developed a patented, vessel-based process to respond to worldwide demand for ‘clean labels’ and products free of artificial colours by providing traceable, natural blue and green colourants.

The natural blues and greens are produced using phycocyanin, also known as spirulina extract, an algae derived pigment which received international regulatory approval in 2013.

Phycocyanin rich algae is traditionally grown in pond systems, which are seasonal and subject to environmental contamination, but ScotBio has developed indoor vessel-based systems that are modular and scalable and capable of meeting the demand from global food manufacturers.

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