The businessman proposing to build a $12-million pharmaceutical manufacturing plant for Sydney expects it to be gearing up for production within two years.

Parker Rudderham, president of Pharmacy Wholesale Services, said the plant will create more than 100 jobs. He recently obtained the rights to purchase land in Harbourstone Industrial Park, where the plant will be constructed. 

Pharmacy Wholesale already owns the adjacent office building, which formerly housed the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, and Rudderham said more than $1 million has been spent renovating it. 

Rudderham plans to produce a wide range of generic drugs and said the company has submitted its plans to Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

"Now it's a matter of hurry up and wait," he said. "The plans are done, the shop drawings are all done and they have to do their thing." 

Rudderham said when the province's current agreement with a pharmaceutical supplier ends, his company will bid on the contract. It will also approach the other three Atlantic provinces.

But the plant will go ahead with or without those government contracts, he said.

"It's not a life and death thing that we need to have that contract," he said. "We will pursue it aggressively. I don't see any reason why the government wouldn't want to support this project."

Rudderham said keeping the pharmaceutical contract in the province will create jobs.

"There is a billion dollars worth of pharmaceuticals sold, generics, in the Atlantic provinces," he said.

"The interesting thing is there are no jobs associated with that product, whereas there are 15,000 jobs in Quebec and 11,000 jobs in Ontario."