ABC Columbia: Nephron Nitrile to produce medical gloves in West Columbia

August 29, 2022


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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) –  Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced equipment arrival for its new plant that is based in West Columbia. The Nephron Nitrile plant will the first in the country to produce American-made, medical-grade first-in-class nitrile gloves

Local and state leaders gathered at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport for the first line of equipment for Nephron Nitrile to arrive. What’s on board will allow the production of gloves to begin within weeks. 

“This is the beginning of a whole lot of these things hopefully shipping right out of this airport and on to others and customers across the country,” says Lou Kennedy, who is the CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Nephron Nitrile is an expansion of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Kennedy says the plant is near completion, it is an investment of more than $100 million in the Midlands and will bring at least 250 jobs to the area. Governor Henry McMaster credited his executive order that safeguards the state from supply chain issues.

“It’s a dangerous world and the supply chain was disrupted of course by the pandemic. Supply issues can be disrupted by a lot of other things as well. Look at what’s going on in Ukraine, there are some supply chains disrupted there. It is a dangerous world and having the capacity and the ability to do these important things particularly pharmaceuticals things that keep people well, alive, healthy, and happy in our state is enormously important,” says Governor Henry McMaster. 

The plant will produce around 2.5 billion gloves a year. Columbia Metropolitan Airport says it has the largest cargo operations in the state and is always looking for opportunities to expand.

“We’re always exploring new innovative ways to grow our cargo systems process and our overall operations and with announcements like this we feel like we are well on the way,” says Mike Gula, who is the Executive Director for Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Kennedy says Nephron’s goal is to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of -critical- health care-related items. “We found ourselves, all of us during the pandemic without gloves. There’s still a supply chain issue with quality gloves that don’t break when you put them on. We wanted to show that we can and will make things in America and why not South Carolina.”