The estimated cost of setting up a penicillin plant of 625 tonnes per year is approximately US$50-52 million.

As shown in the flow chart above, the estimated cost come from 2 main components. These include:

1. Capital investments costs
2. Production costs

1. Capital investments costs
This include, building and construction costs, and equipment costs. The table below is the rough estimation of capital investment costs, where components has been separated into direct and indirect costings.


Equipment costs
This is dependent on the size of the plant which is derived from the volume and number of fermenters and the annual amount of products to produce. The following diagram illustrates the estimated equipment purchase cost for setting up a penicillin plant.

2. Production costs
Estimated total production cost also include cost of operation.


Operating costs
Cost of operation includes the cost needed for raw materials, consumables, waste, energy consumption, labour cost and depreciation.

1. Raw Material Costs
• Amount of a compound x cost price
• Pricing is very dependent on source and volume

2. Consumables
(i) Amount per batch
(ii) Replacement frequency/operating hours
(iii) Price

• Major consumables
(i) adsorption/chromatography resins
(ii) membranes (filtrations, dialysis, diafiltration, e)

3. Waste
•Waste types and costs*
(i) Solid waste
•Non-hazardous: $35/tonne
(ii) Liquid waste/wastewater: $0.5/m3
(iii) Emissions: cost depend on composition

4. Energy Consumption
•Typical energy consumptions:
(i) Process heating & cooling
(ii) Evaporation/distillation
(iii) Bioreactor aeration, agitation
(iv) Centrifugation, cell disruption, etc.

•Utility costs
(i) Electricity: 4.5 cents/kWh
(ii) Steam: $4.40/tonne
(iii) Cooling water: 8 cents/m3

5. Labour Cost
•Amount of labour:
(i) Calculated from demand for each process step
(ii) Defines the number of people per shift/number of shifts
•Hourly cost
(i) Internal company average value
(ii) Literature, e.g. skilled labor: $34/h

6. Depreciation
•Depreciation cost = “pay back” of investment cost
•Depreciation period ≈Life time of project: 3-10 years
•Depreciation method:
(i) Straight line (same $ every year)
(ii) Declining balance