AUBURN — Tambrands is in the midst of a $6.2 million expansion driven by the company’s popular Pearl tampons.

“It’ll give us space for up to two more production lines,” said Rick Malinowski, Tambrands’ supply network operations leader. 

Ground broke on the new 33,212-square-foot addition to its Hotel Road plant last fall and is expected to wrap up in June.

Tambrands, a Procter & Gamble company and the largest private employer in Auburn, turns out 9 million tampons per day. 

“We supply all of Northern America and Latin America,” Malinowski said. “All of Tampax is made in Auburn, Maine, and Tampax has about half the (North American tampon) market.”

He said the company is looking to grow market share in other countries.

Foundation work for the project will cost $745,315 and building construction will cost $5.45 million, according to permits filed with the city. The addition will bring the factory to nearly 600,000 square feet. 

In 2007, the plant underwent a $25.5 million, 47,000-square-foot expansion. Procter & Gamble has invested more than $350 million there since 2000.

Tambrands has over 430 full-time employees and over 90 contractors, Malinowski said. Employees’ starting salaries average more than $40,000 with a high school diploma.

It’s as yet unknown whether the most recent expansion will mean more jobs. 

“Currently, the cardboard applicator volume is declining, so our business is transitioning more to Pearl,” he said. “We would probably move those people. However, if it doesn’t decline and we manage to keep both, it may mean some additional hiring.”

Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said the expansion tells him the company believes in the location. 

“The investment, I think, is a demonstration that corporate Procter & Gamble sees Tambrands and its employees as high-value and an area where they can get a return on their investment, a win-win,” he said.

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