Eli Lilly investment in Lebanon up to $9B

(The Center Square) – Eli Lilly and Company kicked off the second day of the Indiana Global Economic Summit by announcing a $5.3 billion investment slated for a major tech park.

The Indianapolis-based drug maker’s announcement Friday means the company’s project at the LEAP Research and Innovation District in Lebanon is now a $9 billion venture. The expansion will lead to 200 new jobs, bringing the total number of positions slated there to 900.

It’s the second time in a little more than a year that Lilly has announced an expansion for its planned campus at the park located halfway between Indianapolis and Purdue University. Initially, the company announced plans in May 2022 for a $2.1 billion facility that would employ 500. At the official groundbreaking in April 2023, company leaders revealed they would spend another $1.6 billion and fill 200 more new positions.

The Fortune 500 company said it would hire engineers, scientists, lab technicians, and other high-tech professionals for the campus, who would be responsible for crafting active pharmaceutical ingredients for drugs prescribed for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes or obesity.

“Today’s announcement tops the largest manufacturing investment in our company’s history and, we believe, represents the single largest investment in synthetic medicine API manufacturing in U.S. history,” Lilly Chairman and CEO David A. Ricks said. “This multi-site campus will make our latest medicines, support pipeline growth and leverage the latest technology and automation for maximum efficiency, safety and quality control.”

The Lebanon site is expected to start production by the end of 2026.

Friday’s news, which Ricks shared at the summit in Indianapolis alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb, also means the state will increase its investment in the project. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has agreed to provide Lilly with another $500,000 in incentive-based training grants because of the 200 additional jobs announced. The state agency also pledged an additional $20 million in redevelopment tax credits and $15 million in road improvements at the 9,000-acre mixed-use development zone inspired by North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

In addition, the development arm also revised the estimated value of the tax rebates forecasted for the project to $1.2 billion over 30 years. All incentives still require final approval from the Board of Directors and the state.

There have been several studies in recent years questioning the effectiveness of offering tax credits and grants to land new businesses or help existing ones expand. However, Indiana has used such incentives to produce record levels of private-sector investments in recent years. Since the start of 2022, dozens of businesses, including Lilly, Amazon and General Motors, have chosen to spend more than $71.5 billion to locate new operations or expand upon existing sites in the state.

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Holcomb, in a statement, lauded Lilly for the “transformational role” it plays in nurturing the state’s future economy and for being the first company to invest in LEAP.

“As an international company headquartered in Indiana, Lilly had a world of options to consider before making this investment, and choosing Indiana once again reinforces the incredible environment we’ve cultivated and the talented workforce we have to carry Lilly’s success forward,” he said.

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