Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. announced plans in 2014 for a significant expansion at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Opelika to help meet the growing global demand for dialyzers, a critical component used in the treatment of late-stage kidney disease.
Baxter is investing nearly $300 million in the Opelika facility to add 230,000 square feet of space and several production lines. The company began the hiring
process of 200 additional workers in 2016 to support the expansion, coinciding with the expected launch of commercial production on the new lines.
Baxter recently employed 170 people at the Lee County facility, which opened in 2008.
Shortly after the expansion announcement in August 2014, Jill Schaaf, president of Baxter’s renal business, said the project will double the plant’s capacity to produce dialyzers. At that time, the plant’s output served more than 80,000 renal disease patients. The need for dialysis is increasing by 6 to 7 percent nationwide on an annual basis.