Ecolab will close its Columbus facility next year, a company spokesperson has confirmed to The Dispatch.
The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company, which manufactures water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions, currently has a facility on Lehmberg Road, but Ecolab spokesperson Roman Blahoski said that facility will close by mid-2022. The Columbus facility specializes in manufacturing surgical instruments and equipment.
“The pandemic impacted our surgical business, due to the broad cancellation of elective surgical procedures during the pandemic,” Blahoski said. “Because of that, we were reevaluating our operations and we determined that transferring the work from this facility to other Ecolab facilities will help offset the current challenges and better position the business.”
There are currently 61 employees at the Columbus facility, working in positions from manufacturing to research and development, IT and customer service. Blahoski said 18 of the employees will work from home after the facility’s closure, while the remaining 43 will lose their positions, though he added they will have the opportunity to apply for other positions with the company.
Royce Hudspeth of Rhett Real Estate in Columbus confirmed he is helping sell the 11-acre property, which contains three buildings spread over 71,000 square feet. The price is currently $2,150,000, he said.
Ecolab has been in Columbus since 2007, when the company acquired MicroTek, Blahoski said. At one point, the facility employed well more than 100 workers, with 152 employees in 2015 when the company announced they were downsizing the Columbus facility and moving some of its operations to Florida. The company has facilities across the U.S. and multiple other countries.
Blahoski emphasized Ecolab’s leadership’s decision to close the facility had nothing to do with the employees’ work performance.
“This facility closure is in no way because of the work that was done at the plant,” he said. “(We have) great employees doing great work (on) great products.”