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Development update: The latest on Nephron Nitrile

Nephron Nitrile officially opened in Saxe Gotha Industrial Park in West Columbia in December 2022, bringing PPE production to the Midlands and generating 250 jobs for Lexington County.

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CEO Lou Kennedy with a teacher and students from Lexington School District Two

The Nephron Nitrile team recently donated 60,000 gloves to Lexington School District Two for its nursing staff as well as the trade programs at the Lexington Two Innovation Center.

Photo provided by Nephron Nitrile

Two years ago, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy and Gov. Henry McMaster announced the opening of Nephron Nitrile, a plant designed to produce American-made, medical-grade nitrile gloves right here in the Midlands.

This was a big deal, from the jobs the project aimed to create to its impact on the PPE supply chain. We’ll let the numbers do the talking:

  • 400,000+: The square footage of Nephron Nitrile, headquartered in the new Kennedy Innovation Complex in Saxe Gotha Industrial Park
  • $100 million: The estimated cost of the expansion
  • 250: The number of jobs generated in the area
  • 60%: The share of the worldwide glove market represented by the US (read: a big reason to bring production to our doorstep)
hand formers on production line at glove-making facility

These hand formers are used to make nitrile gloves right here in the Midlands.

Photo provided by Nephron Nitrile

Fast forward to September 2023, and Nephron Nitrile is up and running. The facility officially opened in December 2022, and recently, William “Billy” Emerson Harris was announced as its CEO, bringing 30 years of manufacturing experience to the role. “Having Billy join our team is a win-win — for Nephron Nitrile and South Carolina manufacturing,” said owner Lou Kennedy.

At full capacity, Nephron Nitrile will feature 14 production lines (each of which is longer than a football field) that will manufacture ~2.5 billion gloves annually. (In the market for nitrile gloves? You can place an order online.)

See how the gloves are made

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