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June 10, 2024

WuXi’s $300M manufacturing facility faces construction pause, City of Worcester says

Cars driving past a building under construction Photo | Eric Casey Workers on the roof of the under-construction WuXi Biologics facility in Worcester wait for a beam being lowered by a crane on Monday afternoon.

The City of Worcester says Chinese life sciences firm WuXi Biologics has informed it construction at WuXi’s $300-million Worcester manufacturing facility has been paused, although work on the building appears to be continuing. 

“WuXi has reported to us that the project has been paused to evaluate the interior design and ensure the facility meets the needs of the customers they will be serving,” Tom Matthews, media and publication relations administrator for the City, told WBJ via email on Monday. “They have expressed their continued commitment to the ultimate completion of the project.”

Despite claims of a pause, work at the site appears to be ongoing; Workers were spotted on the facility’s roof on Monday morning, and a crane at the site appeared to be lifting beams and other construction materials to the roof throughout the day. Workers were seen operating machinery at the site late last week.

The City directed WBJ to WuXi for further information about the pause. WuXi did not respond to a WBJ request for comment. 

The 189,500-square-foot biomanufacturing facility is being built at 305 Belmont St., inside The Reactory biomanufacturing campus.

WuXi first made its plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Worcester public in June 2018. The company increased their investment in the facility in September 2022

Originally slated to open in 2024, WuXi has now pushed back the operational opening date to 2025, according to a company press release issued in January. 

WuXi is one of several Chinese companies mentioned in The BIOSECURE Act, a piece of federal legislation being considered by Congress meant to block certain foreign firms from accessing U.S. federal funds and prevent American companies from using these firms as manufacturing or trial service providers. 

Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton), whose district includes parts of Middlesex County, is one of the 10 co-sponsors of the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

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