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Chester County Factory To Get $190M Resurrection For Pharma Industry Manufacturing

The factory at 388 Starr Road in the Chester County community of Landenberg, seen in 2019.

A Chester County factory will soon roar back to life after sitting vacant since 2018.

Purolite, a manufacturer of resin beads for water purification and pharmaceutical pills, will spend $190M to redevelop the former W.F. Gore facility at 380 Starr Road in Landenberg, a community in New Garden Township, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The facility will be the first in the U.S. for the King of Prussia-based Purolite's global biologics division.

Purolite received approval to retrofit the single-story, 107K SF building from the New Garden Board of Supervisors at its April 17 meeting, the Chester County Press reports. Purolite representatives said at the hearing they expect the facility to be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week and employ 100 people, but it will only run trucks to and from the property between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Aside from the construction of two small sheds on the property's 12 acres, the vast majority of work will be done inside the factory building. Purolite's $190M planned spend will come with only a $1M grant so far from Pennsylvania First, a state subsidy program, the Inquirer reports. Gov. Josh Shapiro's administration has asked Purolite executives to apply for further subsidies from state programs like Qualified Manufacturing Innovation and Reinvestment Deduction.

Purolite has been in aggressive expansion mode since it was acquired by Minnesota-based Ecolab in 2021 for $3.7B, having cut the ribbon on a $40M facility near its King of Prussia headquarters in December, the Inquirer reports.

That building, like the forthcoming project in Landenberg, manufactures resin beads out of a substance called agarose, which is derived from certain types of seaweed, the Chester County Press reports. The beads function to separate large molecules from smaller ones and purify proteins.