Global medical manufacturer Baxter International announced Thursday plans to build a $1 billion manufacturing center in Newton County that will employ more than 1,500 full-time workers.
The plant will be the first built in the 1,400-acre Stanton Springs industrial park, located just west of Interstate 20 exit 101 at the intersection of Newton, Walton and Morgan counties; the park jointly-owned by those three counties and Jasper County.
Baxter, which is based in Deerfield, Ill., employs 48,500 employees in 27 countries and is a leading developer of products for people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease and other chronic and acute (short-term but intense) medical conditions.
The medical plant was hailed as a huge boon to Georgia, which has been trying to market itself to high-tech, high-paying jobs, and Newton County, which has been marketing the 1,400-acre Stanton Springs site as the perfect place for these industries.
"This investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to patients around the world who rely on our plasma-based therapies," said Robert L. Parkinson, Jr., Baxter's chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release.
“Baxter’s decision to come to Georgia marks a new era in the growth of our biosciences industry and will have far-reaching impact on our economy,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “We are honored to welcome this flagship company to Georgia and proud that our state’s vast resources for the biomedical field will assist the company with the groundbreaking medical advances it is renowned for. Baxter’s commitment to Georgia moves us closer to making Georgia the No. 1 state in which to do business.”
The operation will also include warehouse and distribution facilities. In addition to the manufacturing facility, Baxter will locate plasma centers in a number of communities around the state.
Plasma protein fractionation, the process of separating plasma into its components, is the largest industry segment in global therapeutic protein manufacture. The $14 billion global industry supplies products to more than one million patients each year. The United States provides more than 50 percent of the world’s plasma supply, and Baxter is among the world’s leading producers, according to a released statement.
Construction will begin this year at the new Covington site, which will include operations supporting plasma fractionation, purification, fill-finish and a testing lab. Commercial production is scheduled to begin in 2018.
"We would like to thank Governor Nathan Deal and the many other officials involved in the site selection process, and we look forward to becoming part of the Georgia community," said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter's BioScience business.