According to Renzo Cicillini, Director of the Visp site, the company has already hired 650 new employees. Cicillini added that Lonza was recruiting from the Swiss labor market as well as from countries such as Germany, France, northern Italy and the United Kingdom.
The multinational signed a ten-year contract with American firm Moderna in 2020 to supply ingredients for up to one billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine per year for the global market, excluding the United States. In January 2021, Lonza had projected the need for 200 workers in Visp to meet a yearly target of 300 million doses.
Asked whether the Swiss government would support a vaccine production line in Visp, Cicillini said the company’s CEO, Albert Baehny, was in contact with the health minister Alain Berset, and that the media would be informed of any new development.
Over the past several years, Lonza has been a key player in the biopharmaceutical industry and the economy of the canton of Valais, notably with major investments in its Ibex project and the continuous expansion of its facilities in Visp.