News Feature | June 5, 2014

Hospira Announces $120M Expansion Of McPherson Plant

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Hospira announced that it is investing $120 million to expand its McPherson manufacturing plant over the next five years. The company said it will expand capacity, install automated visual inspection systems, and increase production lines as part of its capital improvement and modernization project.

The expansion is also expected to open an additional 150 jobs in the area. “We’re expecting the majority of those (new jobs) to be on the back end [of the five-year timeline]. There are some in the first years, but most are in the last years. Part of it is we’re doing the investment and adding things at the plant. Once those are completed is when most people will come into play,” said Hospira spokeswoman Tareta Adams.

This is not the first time the company has announced plans to invest in the McPherson facility. Back in February of 2006, the company announced that it had entered into collaboration with the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) to invest $60 million in the facility construction. The project centered on converting approximately 120,000 square feet of existing shell space into functional offices, laboratories and operations for the manufacture of injectable pharmaceuticals.

The McPherson site produces generic injectable and biologics in a variety of delivery systems including ampoules, glass vials, syringes and cartridges. The plant currently operates around the clock and employs about 1,400 people.

The company revealed that it has received government incentives to support its effort to expand and modernize the McPherson plant. Hospira was granted $220,000 from the state of Kansas through its Job Creation and Investment Program fund, and is eligible to receive another $430,000 once specific employment targets are met. However, the agreement includes “clawbacks” should the company fail to meet stipulated goals — including opening up to 150 new jobs at the site within five years and keeping new employees for at least one year. Should the company fall short of the agreement, the state of Kansas can find Hospira in default and will be legally entitled to repayment.

Andrew Knudten, VP of McPherson operations, said, “Our operations in McPherson are critical to ensuring that Hospira continues to supply high-quality, more affordable medicines to patients who need them. This investment enables us to support a sustainable output of important injectable medications and advance growth opportunities at the plant and in our community.”