Fresenius Medical Care, the world's largest provider of dialysis products and services, broke ground on its distribution center in Knoxville, Tennessee. The facility will help support the company's efforts to increase the number of patients with kidney failure choosing home dialysis.
The new distribution center, at the intersection of the John Sevier Highway and I-40, will be the company's largest on the East Coast. The facility will support more than 120 new jobs and allow for future growth of the company's nearby manufacturing plant which opened in 2016.
The manufacturing plant, located in the Forks of the River Industrial Park, produces peritoneal dialysis solution and other supplies for home and clinical dialysis.
"We are making a strong commitment to expanding access to home dialysis and empowering our patients to choose the treatment option that works best for their individual needs," said Rice Powell, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care. "This new distribution center under construction is critical to that effort and will allow us to better serve the needs of thousands of people living with kidney failure across the country. The support from the Knoxville community, which includes so many business and government partners, has been a huge part of our success, and we thank everyone who helped make this groundbreaking possible."
"We are excited for the opportunity to expand our presence in Knoxville," said Kent Wanzek, CEO for Global Manufacturing, Quality and Supply at Fresenius Medical Care. "When constructed, this distribution center will support the growth of our manufacturing plant and provide warehousing and delivery services. This site will help ensure a reliable, flexible product supply for our patients receiving life-sustaining dialysis treatments."
Once completed early next year, the warehouse will provide a location to store and distribute nationally all products manufactured at the nearby plant. This will allow expansion of the manufacturing plant to produce the company's Biofine line of products, a PVC-free, environmentally safer, and more effective product for storage and use of peritoneal solution during home dialysis treatment. Currently, more than 180 people are employed at the manufacturing plant with plans to almost double that number within the next five years.
"Attracting companies, like Fresenius Medical Care, that offer high-quality jobs to our community is exactly what we need to be focusing on," said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. "The ability to provide multiple career and post-secondary pathways to students graduating from our schools is more important than ever as we seek to turn out a strong and capable workforce."
"We are proud to celebrate this milestone and our partnership with Fresenius Medical Care," said Rhonda Rice Clayton, Executive Vice President of the Knoxville Chamber. "Today's groundbreaking exemplifies the long-term, positive impact a collaborative approach to economic development can have on a company and on a community. We appreciate the support of Knox County officials and our regional partners in making it possible for Fresenius Medical Care to expand their investment in Innovation Valley."