Baxter announces $300M expansion at Opelika plant

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - Baxter International, Inc. joined with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Opelika officials Wednesday to announce a multi-million dollar expansion plan for its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which will provide an economic boost to the Opelika area.

Company officials said during a news conference that the expansion will help address the growing global demand for dialyzers, a critical component used in hemodialysis therapy.

Baxter International is set to invest nearly $300 million in the Opelika site, adding 230,000 square feet and several production lines. The company currently employs around 170 people and anticipates hiring an additional 200 workers in 2016. The new employees will support the expansion and work with new productions lines, which are also slated to begin that year.

"Baxter's expansion in Opelika will provide increased production of dialyzers, which are a critical component to the delivery of hemodialysis, a life-sustaining therapy for patients with end stage renal disease," Robert L. Parkinson Jr. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baxter says. "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. The collaboration with Governor Robert Bentley, Mayor Gary Fuller and the many other local officials was a key component of our expansion plan."

There are nearly two million patients worldwide with end-stage renal disease, ESRD,  receiving HD therapy. A growing population with diabetes, blood pressure issues and other key causes of kidney disease means the incidence rate of ERSD and the need for dialysis is growing by an estimated six to seven percent annually around the world.

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