A new medical isotope plant for the US company Shine Medical Technologies will be built in Windham. About 200 people can work in the factory.
The company purchased a sixteen-hectare plot of land from the municipality of Windam, according to reports RTV North. Now it is still in use as farmland. The amount the company paid for it was not disclosed. In total, the American company allocates 200 million euros to the project.
After searching dozens of sites in Europe, Veendam has emerged as the best site. “Yes, this is a fat fish, and also a nice fish,” says Alderman Henk Jan North of Economics. “This company is leading great innovation in the region.” According to him, it is very beneficial for the company to provide job opportunities for people with different educational levels.
Room for growth
“Veendam has space to build and grow,” says Harrie Buurlage of Shine, who leads the project in Europe. We find ideal access to Germany, Groningen and the Randstad. The proximity of Elde Groningen Airport and the presence of knowledge institutions such as UMCG and RUG with the Institute of Nuclear Physics Accelerator also played a role in the positioning decision.
The bulldozer is scheduled to reach the ground in 2023. The plant should be operational within two years. According to Buurlage, it doesn’t take up more than half a football field. The remainder of the site is for buildings in which Shine wants to partner with other companies.
The goal is to produce 40,000 analog sets per day for hospitals and cancer centers in Europe. The isotopes are used in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer patients and people with cardiovascular disease.
Local residents have been informed of a message this morning that the factory has arrived. Buurlage also says to ease any concerns about the type of products and the production process. “The common way to create isotopes is through the fission of uranium in research reactors. With our accelerators we produce in a different way and we also need a factor of less than one hundred uranium.” According to him, the plant also produces less nuclear waste than other reactors used to produce isotopes.
When determining the site, the impact of windmills and earthquakes, for example, was also taken into account. “The plant will be very robustly built and can also withstand the heaviest earthquakes that can occur in Groningen.”