SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

May 14, 2014

Adding an element

Centennial Park scores new chemical warehouse

(Continued)

The company invested $5 million to fit out the building, where it can store hazardous chemicals safely for customers and ship them out, ready to be used immediately on production lines.

Inside, chemicals in boxes or drums sit neatly shrink-wrapped on pallets on towering orange racks. The warehouse’s white floor looks clean enough to eat off. The floor was designed with subtle dips in the grade designed to isolate any spills.

There is a heavy emphasis on safety. The warehouse is climate-controlled with plenty of sprinklers located not only in the high ceilings but in the racks where chemicals are stored. All visitors to the facility come through an access-controlled front door. There is video surveillance inside, and visitors are escorted at all times.

In July 2013, ThermoFisher signed a 10-year lease with the building’s owner, Brookwood Financial Partners of Beverly, which acquired the building in 2009.

ThermoFisher Scientific, headquartered in Waltham, provides a variety of services and products for the life sciences industry and laboratory research. It has $17 billion in revenues and 50,000 employees in 50 countries, about 1,700 of them in the Bay State. It bought the much smaller Doe & Ingalls a couple of years ago for $175 million in cash.

Doe & Ingalls started in Massachusetts in the 1920s, company officials said, but is now headquartered in Durham, N.C., where it has a service center about the same size as the Peabody facility.

While ThermoFisher has been focused on serving the needs of life sciences research, Doe & Ingalls supplies production chemicals to manufacturers. It supplies both large companies and small ones, many of whom struggle to comply with environmental and safety regulations as they scale up production. Officials said the facility can help small companies be compliant with storage requirements.

Company officials said it makes sense to have a warehouse here, given the concentration of biotech, pharmaceutical, chemical and high-tech manufacturers in the area.

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