Contract manufacturer Fareva has opened an aerosol plant at the U.S. site it acquired from Pfizer, but is considering a second upgrade that would more than double capacity at the facility and add even more jobs.
Fareva this week opened the $40 million facility at the Richmond, VA, site. It said the plant has a capacity to manufacture about 100 million aerosol cans annually for drug, over-the-counter and beauty products. It is adding 80 to 100 jobs as a result.
While the Luxembourg-based Fareva manufactures products across a number of forms, it considers itself an "aerosol technology" specialist. The new plant is its eleventh aerosol facility, along with 6 production sites in France and one each in Turkey, the U.K., Brazil and Russia. The new facility has a flame-proof bulk manufacturing workshop, an R&D laboratory for the product development and three aerosol packaging lines, including one with "bag on valve" capability.
Fareva in 2011 acquired the 745,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and office facility in Richmond so that it could develop its pharmaceutical, beauty and cosmetics businesses in the U.S. Pfizer had the plant slated for closure, so the deal saved about 500 jobs, while Fareva got a contract to make for Pfizer some of the products the U.S. company produced at the facility, like Advil, Chapstick and Robitussin. Fareva has added products including shampoos, shower gels, topical and hair products and now employs about 600.
But with the new plant now open, that number will grow and the French contractor said in its announcement, that it may boost capacity at the plant again, adding even more jobs. It is looking at a $15 million to $20 million expansion that would take the aerosol plant’s capacity to 250 million aerosol cans and create approximately 150 new jobs.
Last year, Fareva bought from Merck & Co, an API a manufacturing site in Saint-Germain-Laprade, France, taking on its 130 workers. Fareva didn't disclose what it paid for the site but did say it would invest about $28 million in the facility.