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Biopharma manufacturer completes construction on Pinellas County plant

Margie Manning

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Saint-Gobain's manufacturing plant at 8615 126th Ave. N. near Largo

Saint-Gobain Life Sciences has completed construction on an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility near Largo.

The plant, at 8615 126th Ave. N. in unincorporated Pinellas County, will become an additional manufacturing site for the company’s C-Flex tubing, molded connections and assemblies used in fluid management for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

It’s the second manufacturing site in Pinellas County for Saint-Gobain Life Sciences. The company said it will continue to produce C-Flex tubing and related products at its existing facility at 4451 110th Ave. N. near Clearwater, as well as at plants in France and India.

About 10 to 20 jobs will be added at the new Pinellas County site, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The new plant is located in the Starkey Lakes Corporate Center, developed by Harrod Properties. Starkey Lakes III LLP, the owner, received a permit last year for improvements valued at $11 million for the tenant, Saint-Gobain, Pinellas County property records indicate.

Saint-Gobain owns its 20,000-square-foot plant near Clearwater.

Life science and medical technologies are part of Pinellas County’s targeted industries. There are at least three companies in the county that manufacture plastic tubing for the industry, said Mike Meidel, Pinellas County Economic Development director.

“That means there’s a lot of skilled workers that know what they are doing with that industry,” Meidel said. “They are familiar with the quality control and cleanliness that goes into medical devices, and it helps to build that workforce.”

The new plant is one of seven manufacturing sites that Saint-Gobain Life Sciences is building worldwide, and one of just two in the United States. Other sites are in Beaverton, Michigan, as well as in France, Ireland, India, China and South Korea, a news release said. The company plans to spend about 70 million Euros, or about $77 million, on the expansion. All the sites are expected to be in operation by the end of next year.

“This is the execution of a multi-year plan to expand our global manufacturing footprint, which will enhance our ability to service our Life Sciences customers globally with redundant manufacturing facilities. We are increasing the regional availability of our products and our ability to meet customers’ growing demands,” said Jean Angus, CEO, Saint-Gobain Life Sciences.

The biopharma industry is growing at a rapid pace, and these are critical investments for the company, the spokeswoman said.

“We recognize the responsibility we have to our customers and ultimately, their patients, to increase capacity and localize production, ensuring a reliable, global supply of our products to the pharmaceutical industry,” said Benjamin Le Quéré, general manager of Saint-Gobain Bioprocess Solutions.

Saint-Gobain Life Sciences is part of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, headquartered in France and with operations in 68 countries, and more than 180,000 employees worldwide.

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