TAUNTON — Mayor Shaunna O’Connell said Waters Corporation’s new chemical manufacturing facility in Taunton “shows their commitment to reducing impacts on the environment.”
“They have been a strong community partner,” she said after Waters Corp. received a LEED (Leadership Energy Environmental Design) certification from the Green Building Council during a ceremony on Monday.
“Their functions are a great asset to our community.”
Waters Corp. Public Relations Manager Janice Foley said the company in the Myles Standish Industrial Park is the first chemical facility in Massachusetts to be awarded a LEED certification.
“It’s a big deal to be LEED certified,” she said during a recent interview. “Chemical plants create a lot of waste.”
Waters Corp. Director of Manufacturing Operations Christopher C. Benevides said Waters received the LEED certification because the chemical facility is being built with “sustainable materials.”
“Our objective is corporate sustainability and being as environmentally friendly as we can in the chemistry business,” he said during a recent interview.
“The materials for our new building were chosen carefully. The materials consist of components that were constructed from sustainable materials instead of something that is less recyclable.”
Waters Corp. officials expect the 140,000-square-foot chemical manufacturing facility that cost $215 million to build should be fully operative in 2023.
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Waters expects to hire more workers
Benevides said construction of the chemical manufacturing facility during the past four years prompted Waters Corp. to hire 25 additional employees.
“We have a TIF (tax increment financing agreement) with Taunton that developed back in 2017-2018,” he said. “We were required to hire 15 additional people. We have now hired 25 additional people and exceeded the TIF.”
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According to company officials, the chemical manufacturing facility expects to increase its overall employment rate by 33% when it becomes operative next year.
Foley said Waters has 120 employees at the Taunton site, which opened in 1978.
“We were the first occupant in the Myles Standish Industrial Park,” she said.
Benevides said Waters Corp. “started with three employees” at the Taunton site, and he expects more jobs will be created as “business grows.”
The old facility was 50,000 square feet, about one-third the size of the new plant, Foley said.
“That Is all being done for future growth,” Foley said.
U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D Newton, said the construction of the chemical manufacturing facility demonstrates the amount of professional “talent and work ethic” in Southeastern Massachusetts
“It’s a demonstration of a new dynamism in our economy,” he said after the ceremony.
Auchincloss said Waters Corp. would also be able to hire more employees since President Joe Biden signed into law the bipartisan Chips and Science Act of 2022, which aims to boost domestic manufacturing of computer chips and counter China’s edge in that sector.
Food and drug measuring devices
Benevides said the company assembles chromatography equipment for pharmaceutical firms to measure a drug’s elements.
“They are used to assure the components in a drug are what they’re supposed to be,” he said. “Major pharmaceuticals are a major component of what we do.”
Benevides said Waters also sells chromatography equipment to food and beverage manufacturers.
“Chromatography allows you to take a mixture of different components in caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee beans,” he said. “The chromatography system pulls them apart and allows you to look at them individually.”
Benevides said Waters also manufactures mass spectrometry, a tool used by food manufacturers and pharmaceutical scientists to identify elements in a “mass of a compound.”
“It pulls apart a mixture and allows you to look at the materials individually,” he said. “It’s a sensitive detection technique.”
Benevides said Waters assembles “thermal analysis equipment” that informs scientists or food manufacturing evaluators how a temperature change would impact their products.
“We sell the companies equipment that helps them determine if their product manufacturing process is correct,” he said.
“They develop methods for whatever they are making. We help them develop methods to do that. They are now on their own. We have a library and scientists that help them.”
O’Connell said Waters’ philosophy “is to deliver benefits to their stakeholders.”
“They take corporate responsibility seriously,” she added.