Firmenich, a Swiss company focused in the production of pefumery and food flavour chemicals, is set to build a new flavour laboratory in Nigeria.

The laboratory, which is being built in a five-year partnership with the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Lagos state, is targeted at boosting the company’s services to its customers in food and beverage industry.

Firmenich has invested NGN12m ($75,667) in the new West African project.

Firmenich sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Flavour division vice president Emmanuel Frenck said the laboratory project started nearly a year and half ago to provide direct technical presence of the flavour company in Nigeria.

"Our close partnership and presence within this prestigious institution offers great potential to capture ideas and create technical solutions for our local customers through the expertise of our Yaba Food Technology partners, as well as transfer our flavour expertise to the future generation of students, which is also part of Firmenich’s commitment to sustainability," Frenck stated.

Frenck added that the partnership demonstrates the company’s commitment to develop a direct presence in Nigeria and be closer to the local food and beverage manufacturers.

The company chose Nigeria because of the feasibility of the market.

Founded in 1895 in Geneva, the company has posted a turnover of CHF2.7bn ($2.9bn) in June 2011, and has a global presence with operations in 64 countries.

Internationally, Firmenich employs nearly 6,200 people and its major competitors include Givaudan, International Flavors and Fragrances and Symrise.