SiO2 Materials Science is building a second injection molding facility and expanding its existing facility in Auburn, Ala. with a $163 million investment to supply the federal government with vials and syringes for COVID-19 vaccines.
The investment will create 220 jobs, according to a July 1 news release from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
The site of the new facility is less than a mile from SiO2's existing facility in Auburn, where construction is currently underway.
SiO2 developed a patented vial during the last 10 years that combines a plastic container with a microscopic, pure glass coating on the inside.
The vials are "ideal for biological drugs and vaccines," according to the company. "The product, developed with help from experts from four major U.S. research institutions, combines the benefits of both glass and plastic without drawbacks."
"There are problems with plastic, and there are problems with glass, and we resolve all of them," SiO2 CEO Bobby Abrams added in the release. "A combination of plastic and a microscopic layer of glass also means vials and syringes won't break, shatter or crack," the release said.
The company announced a $143 million contract in June for a scale up of its COVID-19 vaccine packaging, according to the release.
SiO2 did not immediately respond to questions from Plastics News.