Carlsbad-based Life Technologies Corp. plans to invest $18 million to expand its San Francisco-area plant that manufactures a variety of genetic testing products.

The company will begin the expansion in the second quarter of 2013. The expanded plant will “provide accessibility for customers on a global scale and enable more efficient business continuity planning,” Life Technologies said in a statement.

The first phase of the project will repurpose 10,000 square feet of space to manufacture chemicals for genetic analysis. Life Technologies will then add another 30,000 square feet of space over the next one to three years to develop products that will help its diagnostics sector meet regulatory requirements.

The company is one of San Diego’s largest, employing about 1,500 in San Diego and 10,500 worldwide. It posted sales of $3.8 billion in 2012.

—SDBJ Staff Report