BOSTON (AP) - Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb will build a $1.1 billion manufacturing plant at Devens that will create about 550 jobs, officials announced Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said the New York-based company told Kennedy and Gov. Mitt Romney about the plans Thursday afternoon. The two have been pushing for the plant, said Kennedy spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner.
''Bristol Myers' decision to build this new facility and create 550 good manufacturing jobs reflects our continued leadership in biotechnology and the life sciences,'' Kennedy said in a statement.
''Its presence in Massachusetts will only boost our ability to attract similar high-quality jobs,'' he added.
The plant will occupy 750,000 square feet on about 80 acres.
The announcement by New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb came after Procter & Gamble Co. last month said it planned to close one of two former Gillette Co. plants in Devens by year's end and eliminate at least 100 jobs. P&G acquired Gillette last fall.
Production of packaging for razors and other hygiene products made at Devens will be transferred to a P&G plant in Greensboro, N.C.
P&G also said Monday that it will reduce the size of Gillette's warehouse and distribution facility in Devens, about 35 miles northwest of Boston, and transfer operations to Greensboro, affecting an unspecified number of jobs.
The Devens plants are located on the site of the military's former Fort Devens on land in the towns of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley.