QualPak has again announced that it will close its manufacturing facility in Laurinburg.
Production at the Scotland plant will cease on Aug. 12, after which operations will be phased out, company officials said. The plant is projected to shut down completely by the end of the year.
The closing is expected to affect approximately 70 employees, who, according to QualPak human resources director Rena Parker, will receive benefits packages.
QualPak, makers of Purell hand sanitizer, purchased the facility after Abbott Laboratories vacated it in 2002.
The closure is a result of waning demand after the H1N1 pandemic.
“In January of 2009 they announced that they were going to close in July of 09. When H1N1 picked up they needed more product than they could produce. That really only prolonged their stay,” said Scotland County economic development director Greg Icard.
Icard said that QualPak's corporate office is in Ohio, and the company has facilities there where they can shift production with less overhead.
The community has benefitted from QualPak’s presence in the community, Icard said.
“They were paying people to work when there would have been an empty building sitting there. There’s a tremendous amount of equipment in the building that they’ve been paying taxes on."
“It’s unfortunate that they’re leaving, and we’re concerned about the employees and their families. That’s really our biggest concern right now.”