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Former GE Life Sciences Spinoff To Invest $430M Retrofitting Michigan Plant For Biomanufacturing

A satellite image of the former BASF facility in Muskegon, Michigan.

A $430M plan to convert a shuttered chemical plant in Western Michigan into a biomanufacturing site shows the continued hunger for more domestic life sciences production capacity.

Global Life Sciences Solutions USA is looking to invest nearly a half-billion dollars to upgrade a 168K SF BASF facility in Muskegon, Michigan, that previously made herbicides. The build-out would retrofit the plant, add clean space and labs, and the production capacity to produce resins used in biologic, pharmaceutical and diagnostic and medical products. There’s also potential to expand production and capacity with new construction on the 400-acre site.

The booming life sciences industry requires more biomanufacturing capacity, especially new cell and gene therapy solutions, so firms are focused on expansion, moving into new markets and states and often retrofitting old manufacturing or pharmaceutical plants. There isn’t reliable national data around capacity and projects in the pipeline, but billions of dollars of development and millions of square feet of new space are in development in just a handful of states like California, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

Morgan Carroll, director of business development at Greater Muskegon Economic Development, thought that it “was going to be extremely hard to market” the BASF site, she told MiBiz, but “it turns out we didn’t have to market it barely at all.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund provided property tax incentives worth roughly $2.7M to fund the redevelopment.

Global Life Sciences Solutions USA, also known by the brand name Cytiva, was formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences. It currently employs 8,000 people in 40 countries, and it expects to begin production at the new facility by late 2025 or early 2026.