Air Liquide subsidiaries Seppic, a healthcare specialty ingredients manufacturer, and Schülke, a hygiene specialist, have broken ground on a greenfield state-of-the-art production facility in Virginia, US.

The facility in Sandston, Henrico County is expected to start operations in the first half of 2018.

The new production facility will manufacture ingredients for the cutting-edge cosmetic and pharmaceutical global markets. The market for personal care specialty ingredients is thought to be worth more than $10bn globally, of which the US represents around 25%.

With this facility in the northeast of the US, the two companies will strengthen their proximity to the majority of their American customers.

François Jackow, member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, supervising the Healthcare activities, said, “Seppic and Schülke have a long presence in the US serving leading health and beauty care customers. This first manufacturing unit for the two companies in the US will extend their innovative potential and enlarge their industrial footprint and proximity with customers within North America, while strengthening their manufacturing capabilities globally.”

“With this investment, Air Liquide pursues the development of its Hygiene and Specialty Ingredients activities, thus strengthening the group’s Healthcare business in this region.”

The planned investment is over $60m and will create approximately 50 new jobs in the community.

Air Liquide Healthcare supplies medical gases, home healthcare services, hygiene products, medical equipment and specialty ingredients. In 2015, it served over 7,500 hospitals and 1.3 million patients at home throughout the world, while this business segment reached €2.8bn in revenues in 2015.