AL: Baxter International to Invest $300M to Expand, Add 200 Jobs

22 Aug, 2014

Healthcare giant Baxter International said it will invest nearly $300 million to expand its plant in Lee County to produce dialyzers, a critical component in the treatment of advanced kidney disease.

The 230,000-square-foot expansion at the company’s state-of-the-art Alabama manufacturing facility will add 200 jobs, along with several production lines. The Opelika plant today has 170 workers, and hiring related to the expansion will begin in 2016.

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield told the Opelika-Auburn News that state and local officials worked together closely to secure the new jobs and investment from the healthcare leader.

“You don’t get to this day easily. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of dedication,” Canfield said. “…No project can come to the state without a strong partnership. We all come together as a team to create a really bright future for the state.”

Baxter Chairman and CEO Robert L. Parkinson Jr. said the expansion in Opelika will allow the company to increase production of dialyzers, which are a crucial in the delivery of hemodialysis (HD), a life-sustaining therapy for patients with end-stage renal disease.

“In addition to supporting a greater number of patients having access to therapy, the expansion is an investment in the communities where our employees live and work,” Parkinson said in a statement. “The collaboration with Governor Robert Bentley, (Opelika) Mayor Gary Fuller and the many other local officials was a key component of our expansion plan.”

Baxter says there are currently 2 million patients worldwide with end-stage renal disease receiving HD therapy.