Burlington, Massachusetts, October 6, 2020 – Merck today inaugurated a new $14.4 million industrial water treatment plant at its Jaffrey, New Hampshire, location. The upgraded system incorporates advanced technology and complies with town-issued industrial water discharge permits that will become effective later this year. The plant is the first of Merck’s facilities worldwide to use anaerobic digestion, which treats biodegradable waste and is widely employed as a renewable energy source.
“Our new, industrial water treatment plant reduces the load on the town treatment works, while also supporting future growth at our Jaffrey facility,” said Chris Ross, interim CEO, Merck. “This investment reflects Merck’s commitment to environmental sustainability, to the town of Jaffrey and to the surrounding communities in New Hampshire.”
Merck in Jaffrey produces technologies and tools for biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and supplies products that are used in the research and development of vaccines for Covid-19. Water from the company’s onsite treatment plant feeds into the town’s wastewater facility, where it receives final treatment. Merck’s pre-treated water measures well below Industrial Discharge Permit limits, thereby assisting the town in its discharge compliance. The company is evaluating the possibility of re-using the treated process water in its Jaffrey production operations, which would be a first in New Hampshire.
The advances incorporated into the new system are the latest in a long list of improvements the company has made at its 480 Turnpike Rd. facility. Merck has completed some 30 energy-saving projects since 2012, including compressor and motor upgrades, high-efficiency HVAC units, lighting controls and window replacements. Additionally, Merck’s Jaffrey plant recycles plastic and corrugated packaging, recovers and re-uses solvents and uses double-sided printing and compostable cutlery — in all, achieving a recycle rate of 40 percent. The facility also boasts an impressive water re-use program. Water entering the facility is used two to three times before being sent to the onsite water treatment plant. In 2019, the Jaffrey site avoided consuming nearly 44 million gallons of fresh water from the local river basin.
Merck is committed to sustainability and to reducing environmental impact. In 2015, its $10 million biomass central heating plant came online, offsetting 400,000 gallons of oil per year using renewable feedstock — eliminating the need for fossil fuels. Additionally, Merck in Jaffrey has been recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship and as a champion for energy efficiency by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.
Merck is Jaffrey’s largest employer with approximately 1,000 employees. The company is recruiting candidates for 95 jobs in Jaffrey (60 permanent and 35 contract positions) and plans to add at least 100 more jobs in the town over the next several years to support anticipated future growth.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of €16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science and EMD Performance Materials.
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