Chennai, May 12(BPNS)
The HLL Biotech,Chengalpet in a sprawling 100 acre campus and just 55 km from Chennai with all the modern facilities and state of the art technology to manufacture vaccines was not used during the first pandemic wave. There were not many takers to use this facility of the Public sector undertaking even after it floated a tender for its Integrated Vaccine Complex(IVC) to manufacture vaccines.
The HLL Biotech has an annual capacity of 585 million doses and was to make vaccines under the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) of Government of India. The company was formed to produce an uninterrupted supply of vaccines under the Universal Immunisation Programme. It has the state of the art multi –bacterial and multi –viral facilities to meet any epidemic or pandemic situations.
However with the central government extending the deadlines for bids to May 21, four private firms have approached the company. The private firms have already discussed with the HLL Biotech officials on the difficulties over the huge upfront fee of Rs 52 crore.
A senior officer with HLL Biotech on conditions of anonymity while speaking to BPNS said, “ Four companies have approached us in a pre –bid meeting and have raised concern over the upfront money. They want to reduce this upfront money of Rs 52 crore. The upfront money is now reduced well and we hope that the bid is through.”
There is however no clarity as to when the vaccines will be rolled out from the Integrated Vaccine Complex(IVC) at HLL Biotech.
Member of Parliament and DMK leader P Wilson who has been vociferously demanding that the Union government must utilize the vaccine manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu including that of state PSU undertakings like Pasteur Institute in Conoor, Udhagamandalam and Kings Institute in Guindy, Chennai.
The HLL Biotech officials are expecting that the vaccine manufacturing will take place from their premises if the bid procedures go on well.