Pharmaceutical Company Coming To Harnett County

KriGen Pharmaceuticals LLC is making Lillington and the old Edwards Brothers manufacturing facility the site of its first U.S. plant. Onhand for the announcement Wednesday morning were, from left, Lillington Commissioner Rupert Langdon, KriGen CFO Dhruvkumar Patel, assistant NC State Secretary of Commerce Kenny Flowers, KriGen CEO Varshal Patel, Harnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gordon Springle and Central Carolina Community College President Dr. Lisa Chapman.

India-based company to bring 100 high-paying jobs

An India-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company has chosen the former Edwards Brothers book manufacturing building in Lillington as the site for its first U.S. operation.

KriGen Pharmaceuticals, LLC, headquartered in India, plans to bring at least 100 jobs with salaries averaging $58,462 to the area in 2020.

The company produces intravenous solutions such as saline and dextrose, for healthcare facilities and will begin manufacturing the two formulas sometime late next year at the Lillington site, according to CEO Varshal Patel.

Patel said the main reason Lillington was chosen as the location for the new 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility was its proximity to the Cape Fear River and the water the plant will need to produce the IV formulas.

“The main thing is the water source we needed,” Patel said. “We were looking into Florida also. But the state government here and the local government we got a better response from them. Plus the water quality is a lot better compared to other states. The main thing we needed for the production was the water and there’s a lot of extra water here. It is better quality.”

Patel said because of the higher quality available it will help reduce KriGen’s manufacturing costs by reducing the purification process.

“There’s better quality and we’ve been able to eliminate a lot of steps to purify the water,” he said. “And that’s a plus for us.”

Lillington Town Manager Joseph Jefferies said town officials are excited at the chance to be the U.S. home of KriGen and are looking forward to all of the benefits the town will receive.

“This is a fantastic day for the town of Lillington,” he said. “We’re a small town U.S.A. and to have the opportunity to bring 120 jobs, at just under $60,000 a year, is really fantastic. The impact is just great for us.”

Jefferies said it could also be the starting point for other industries to come to the town. He said after losing Edwards Brothers, the town was faced with both a grim and positive outlook.

“We lost an industry,” he said. “The bright side was the new industry that is coming, KriGen. And there’s two other new businesses that are going to relocate to Lillington, because of those empty facilities that we hope to announce real soon. This is just one of three, so it’s really a positive sign for our small town. It shows we have a lot of potential and it shows a lot of good things are going to happen here.”

Harnett County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gordon Springle said it was also a great day for the county as well. He called it an example of how the various entities involved in bringing the company to Lillington were able to work together to make the facility a reality.

“A lot of people did a lot of things to make this come together, particularly our economic development staff, the Town of Lillington and the State of North Carolina,” Springle said. “It takes all these people working together to make something like this take place. We’re looking forward to working with KriGen and to help them reach their goal and our goal.”

KriGen is expected to bring a total investment of around $7 million to the facility, something which brought excitement from state legislators Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Jim Burgin.

KriGen Pharmaceuticals LLC will soon make this site of the former Edwards Brothers manufacturing facility its first U.S. manufacturing plant. An announcement of the $7-million investment in Lillington’s community came Wednesday morning.

$7 Million Investment, 100 New Jobs
“An investment of $7 million and 100 jobs is great news for Harnett County,” Lewis said. “KriGen Pharmaceuticals will find great success in our growing region of skilled workers for many years to come.”

Burgin said he was excited to see Lillington become a part of the international manufacturing community and that will likely help Harnett County in the future.

“It’s exciting to see an international pharmaceutical company establish their U.S. operations in our state,” Burgin said. “KriGen’s decision to open in Lillington will give other companies a great vote of confidence in Harnett County.”

The company will bring with it approximately 100 jobs when it begins production, with the possibility of expanding operations in a second phase at a later date.

“We have the (research and development) operation in India right now,” Patel said. “We’re going to go with most of the tablet and capsule manufacturing, but that is in the second phase. Right now the main thing is IV (production).”

As for right now, plans call for production to actually begin late in 2020 or soon thereafter due to delays in acquiring the building.

“We are probably thinking about the end of next year or beginning of the following year,” Patel said. “Once it’s setup we have to do a lot of processing before we can start production.”

While production is more than a year away, retooling and up-fitting the building for KriGen’s needs will get underway very soon.

“We’re going to tear it down inside,” Patel said. “Inside we’ll tear it down and just manufacture the clean room and things such as that. So there’s a lot of construction going on right now.”

Patel said that up-fitting the building to meet his company’s specific needs will get underway as soon as possible.

“We’ll probably start at the end of this month,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be done in six months or so. Then we’ll start having machinery coming in from out of country.”

KriGen Pharmaceuticals, LLC

-Dunn Daily Record