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National co. Thermo Fisher Scientific makes it official: Mebane is to be site of $192.5M new manufacturing plant with 150-200 jobs

Thermo Fisher Scientific made it official late Friday afternoon and provided two new dimensions to the previously-reported news that the company has selected Mebane as a site for a new manufacturing facility, as first reported in The Alamance News earlier this month.

As previously reported, Thermo Fisher Scientific is planning to occupy a 375,000-square-foot facility that is now under construction by the development company Al Neyer on the eastern edge of Mebane – across the county line in western Orange County on the southeast corner of Buckhorn and West Ten roads in what is emerging to be what Orange County officials are terming a Buckhorn Industrial Park.

The area is also home to a huge, new 1.2 million square foot Medline distribution center which appears to be nearing completion, and Mebane city council members recently approved another nearby project, also being built by Al Neyer, that will bring another almost 1 million square feet of warehouse space to the Buckhorn Road area.

The new dimensions are that the company will invest $192.5 million in the endeavor, as well as the employment impact of the selection of the Mebane site.

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In its site announcement confirmation on Friday, Thermo Fisher Scientific delineated that the Mebane site is expected to create 150-200 new jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and business operations jobs.

Thermo Fisher currently employs approximately 4,000 workers at seven other North Carolina locations, which include: a center of excellence for laboratory equipment in

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Asheville; three life sciences and chemical manufacturing sites in Durham; pharmaceutical manufacturing sites in Greenville and High Point; and a Raleigh distribution center.

In September, the company announced an expansion at the Greenville plant, planning to invest $154 million and increase employment at the facility by 290 employees.

The company refers to the Mebane site as one for a “major new life sciences manufacturing facility.”  The Mebane location will produce precision pipette tips for laboratory, research and related life science applications.

Pipettes are slender tubes attached to or incorporating a bulb, for transferring or measuring out small quantities of liquid, especially in a laboratory. Some of its applications are used in testing for Covid-19, which prompted the Department of Defense to partner with the company in funding the new site with a $192.5 million grant announced in September.

Thermo Fisher’s investment in Mebane is part of a larger strategy, the company said in its site announcement, “to build flexible and redundant production capacity in the U.S. and across key regions globally. Increased output from recent site expansions is helping meet ongoing demand for COVID-19-related consumables, including plastics used to collect samples and transport them to labs, as well as for vital equipment, such as single-use technologies (SUT), used to accelerate production and allow flexibility for both COVID and non-COVID vaccines and therapies.”

“The new manufacturing facility will help the U.S. meet future demand surges for vital laboratory products while bringing more high-quality jobs to North Carolina,” said Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “With its strategic geographic location and proximity to a diverse talent base, Mebane is an ideal location for this new facility.”

Governor Roy Cooper lauded the company’s selection of Mebane. “Thermo Fisher continues to expand its footprint in North Carolina, reinforcing our state’s global reputation as a prime location for life sciences companies,” said Cooper. “This new investment in Mebane and Orange County proves once again that North Carolina’s biotechnology sector is thriving in every corner of our state.”

Mebane mayor Ed Hooks also expressed enthusiasm for the official announcement. “This is a tremendous announcement, and we welcome this expansion into our city and North Carolina. The presence of a company of this magnitude is greatly appreciated and adds another world-class organization to a significant industrial lineup in our area. The investment in our economy and the job opportunities for highly-skilled employees will undoubtedly have a major impact and provide great opportunities for our citizens. We welcome Thermo Fisher Scientific to the City of Mebane.”

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The company describes itself as the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $35 billion.  Its mission “is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

During a November 1 meeting of the Mebane city council, Justin Parker, vice president of real estate development for Al Neyer, the development company that is building the facility, estimated that the building will be ready for occupancy next summer, around August 2022.

See earlier coverage:

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