Thermo Fisher kicks off production at giant plant in Tennessee, where it plans to hire more than 1,000

As part of its recent expansion surge, Thermo Fisher has identified single-use technology (SUT) manufacturing as an important area of focus.

On Monday, when the Massachusetts-based manufacturer opened a $105 million plant in Lebanon, Tennessee, it became the company’s largest SUT site in its growing network. Employing SUT allows a manufacturer to move away from equipment that must be sterilized or consumables that are recycled or pose a risk with their transfer into cleanrooms. Thermo Fisher also has a new SUT site in Singapore.

The company unveiled its plan to build the massive 400,000-square-foot facility less than a year ago, along with a $650 million overall investment in the production of bioprocessing materials used to manufacture vaccines and other therapies.

The demand for bioprocessing materials is “rapidly growing,” the company said in a statement. The new site—which is 30 miles east of Nashville in a growing biotech hub—more than doubles Thermo Fisher’s capacity to produce these materials.

The plant employs approximately 300 people, with another 1,100 expected to be added upon its completion.

The facility will manufacture single-use BioProcess containers and fluid transfer assembly systems and will include 92,000 square-feet of clean room space. It also will have a dedicated line for the company’s newly developed DynaDrive bioreactor.

Less than three weeks ago, Thermo Fisher said that it had completed a $76 million expansion of its dry powder media manufacturing plant in Grand Island, N.Y. That investment added 45,000 square feet of production space and will pave the way for 100 new workers at the site which already employs 1,600.

Thermo Fisher has 11 manufacturing sites across the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company recently added capacity by expanding facilities in Logan, Utah, and Suzhou, China.