Luxembourg firm key to India's COVID immunisation to hold talk to set-up plant

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Dec 06, 2020, 08:37 PM(IST)

Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO and Luc Provost, CEO, B Medical Systems Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Company CEO Luc Provost said that his company will be involved in "transfer technology from Luxembourg to India to produce quality products", while Deputy CEO Jesal pointed out, India could "replicate the success for the transportation of the vaccines".

B Medical System, a firm from Luxembourg that will be building portable and non-portable covid vaccine refrigerators for Indian government will set up plant in India. The plant will be up and running by mid-March in Gujarat.

This is the direct outcome of the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel. 

B Medical System CEO Luc Provost and Deputy CEO Jesal Doshi are in India for a week-long visit to Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. The formalities of the plant are expected to be completed this week.

Company CEO Luc Provost said that his company will be involved in "transfer technology from Luxembourg to India to produce quality products", while Deputy CEO Jesal pointed out, India could "replicate the success for the transportation of the vaccines".

The portable covid vaccine refrigerator they will be manufacturing can carry different vaccine covid vaccine requiring different temperatures--from Pfizer's covid vaccine at -70 or Moderna COVID vaccine at -20. Their solar-powered units are capable of running for a month with one-day exposure to the Sun.

Provost and Doshi spoke with WION's Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal in New Delhi

WION: With what mandate you are in India vis-a-vis the setting up of plant

Luc Provost: We are here to set up manufacturing plant and transfer technology from Luxembourg to India to produce quality products in the vaccination project

WION: You will visit many cities if you can give detail of it...

Jesal Doshi: It was only in November that two prime ministers met, and all of us here are impressed with the vision that Prime Minister Modi has shown and the speed at which govt has acted to follow up on it. Less than 2 weeks, after that summit we are physically here in Delhi in COVID times. That is in itself an incredible achievement. We have a week full of meetings, we will be in Delhi, we will be in Hyderabad, we will be in Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad meeting various stakeholders as well as vaccine manufacturers.

WION: What is the differentiating factor between your products and products available?

Luc Provost: Actually, B Medical has been in this business for 4 decades and has been leading the market, and we helped build up extremely, very high intelligence of our products, high-quality products, so you will find existing products around the world which satisfy similar needs, but not as same security as B Medical can offer and same quality. 

Just as reference points, we have products with failure rate below 0.3% and we offer 10 years warranty on our products because they are so robust and well designed. we'll produce in Luxembourg and we will live to bring the product to India.

WION: How will your company setting up plant help Indian govt's Atmanirbhar Bharat project?

Jesal Doshi: India even today manufactures 60% of the world's vaccines. And honestly, I don't find any reason why they can't replicate the success for the transportation of the vaccines, which is sometimes even more critical than even the vaccine itself. 

Because if you transport it incorrectly, you lose the potency of the vaccine. So, I think, there is huge potential in India as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to create many jobs in the sector and I am very very excited being Indian myself, as part of this.

WION: If you can give a detail of the portable refrigerator equipment that will be produced in India.

Luc Provost: The beauty of our equipment is that you can use the same equipment, for multiple usage. The transport container you are talking about can transport Pfizer vaccine at -70 degree, Moderna vaccine at -20 degree, in perfectly safe conditions, and also the standard vaccine at +4 degree for a week. 

But we don't manufacture portable solutions, we manufacture stationary solutions, so vaccine refrigerators. We have products that can store refrigerated and a frozen vaccine. It gives flexibility to governments in the immunization programme is a huge risk reducer, to buy the right product.

WION: When will things move on ground, we can have the actual project working.

Jesal Doshi: From our perspective, we have already set-in place several steps. For example, the senior team that will lead our operations has been identified and recruited. We have already, placed order for equipment, in terms of assembly line that will be set up. We have done lot of things already, and I believe that we will have plant operational by March next year which is an extremely tight timeline.

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