Photo Gallery: Nephron Pharmaceuticals opens in Lexington County

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Lexington County’s newest manufacturing facility will have not only an immediate and long-term effect on the local community but also a far-reaching impact on people around the world.

Lexington County leaders turned out Wednesday for the ribbon cutting celebration at Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Also in attendance were Gov. Nikki Haley, Central SC Alliance President and CEO Mike Briggs, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson and even University of South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner.

All the speakers had high praise for Lou Kennedy, president and CEO of Nephron and Lexington County native. She was joined Wednesday by her husband, Bill, who is also the company’s co-owner.

Haley remarked that South Carolina will not be known just for making cars now that Nephron has expanded from Orlando into the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park in Cayce. The plant is adjacent to Amazon’s distribution center.

“(Bill and Lou) have done something that’s taken us to a new level,” Haley said.

The manufacturing center is a $300 million investment and is projected to provide 700 jobs for the area. Lou Kennedy made sure to recognize the employees present at the ceremony and said about 100 were on site.

“We’re adding as we speak,” she said of the hiring process.

Visitors tour the lobby of Nephron Pharmaceuticals. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Visitors tour the lobby of Nephron Pharmaceuticals. (photo by Rachel Ham)

The journey to bring Nephron to Cayce and back to the place Lou Kennedy grew up began about three years ago. Construction wrapped in two years, about a year ahead of schedule.

Products such as Albuterol made and shipped out from Nephron will impact the daily lives of those living far outside of Lexington County.

“This will not benefit the Midlands, but people all over the state and world … will receive access to cutting-edge pharmaceuticals,” said USC President Harris Pastides.

Pastides also thanked the Kennedys for their monetary contribution to improve pharmacy education at USC. The family donated $30 million in 2010 for the creation of The William P. and Lou W. Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center.

“That was the best call of my presidency,” Pastides joked.

Lexington County Administrator Joe Mergo noted that decisions made by Lexington County Council years ago made investments like Nephron’s possible. Council floated a bond for economic development which provided funding for the establishment of Saxe Gotha Industrial Park and its infrastructure.

“Council’s field of dreams is today Lou Kennedy’s field of dreams,” Mergo said.

Kennedy eagerly shared facts and figures about her hometown plant and said the company kept its promise to use local contractors with $62 million spent on hiring Midlands crews.

“We will try to make Nephron a company you are proud to say in located in South Carolina,” said Bill Kennedy.

Before the ribbon was cut, Briggs noted the initial group of hires at Nephron is the first in a long line of high-quality careers for Midlands residents.

“There are generations of people out there waiting for job opportunities here,” he said.

Learn more about Nephron Pharmaceuticals products and job openings on the company website.

Facts and figures about Nephron Pharmaceuticals’ 473,000-square-foot facility:

  • 3,300 trucks of concrete used
  • 8 acres of sod used in landscaping
  • 6 miles of PVC pipe just for irrigation
  • Live rooftop garden for employees