Microchip Technology’s recent purchase of the Puyallup manufacturing plant an Australian medical-syringe maker hoped to buy hasn’t dampened the syringe company’s determination to locate in that area.

Peter G. Lemin, CEO of Tri-Ject International Corp., says his company made a fair offer for the former Matsushita semiconductor plant but that the asking price was no bargain.

“If we didn’t get it for our price, we could build something new and pristine for the same amount,” he says. “We have an option on a piece of property right now.”

Lemin says the molding machines and other equipment needed to begin manufacture of the company’s safety syringes won’t be completed until at least October and that the company has plenty of time to select an existing structure or build one of its own. Lemin was in Atlanta for a meeting regarding the timetable for manufacture of the equipment when the Matsushita sale announcement was made May 24.

Lemin says that because Tri-Ject needs at least one clean room to manufacture its products, the company may lease an existing building and add a clean room—a process that would take about six weeks.

“We want to stay here—in either King or Pierce County,” Lemin says. He says the company is looking in Fredrickson and considering the impact of Pierce County incentives such as its economic development zones in some of the low-income areas of the county.

“We have lots of options,” he contends. “But we are not paying more for an existing building than we would to build a new facility. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward three steps.”

He says he’s pleased for Puyallup and for Pierce County that a company as solid as Microchip will be coming in.

“This city has one more company that will employ a lot of people, which is just great for Pierce County,” he says. “I congratulate them.”

By Richard Sypher, Business Examiner staff