AUBURN — Procter & Gamble just keeps investing in Auburn’s largest private employer.

Tambrands, the factory behind the company’s popular Pearl tampons, is wrapping up two construction projects that bring P&G’s total investment in the plant to more than $10 million in 2½ years.

Rick Malinowski, the plant’s supply network operations manager, said a building expansion this year triggered the need for more fire protection, one of the projects.

About 400 people work at the Hotel Road factory, making 9 million tampons per day.

“Tampax is a national brand – we’re the sole supplier for North America – so we invest heavily in the infrastructure to make sure the plant is protected in case of any type of emergency, especially fires,” Malinowski said. “It’s a strategic site for Procter & Gamble in North America.”

Earlier this year, the company finished a $6.2 million expansion that gave it space to add two production lines.

“We needed to increase our fire protection capability, so we added on the new pump house,” Malinowski said. “Inside that, we have an emergency crisis control center. We’ll have internet access there and we’ll have a generator there so it’ll be self-sufficient.”

It’s located 50 to 75 yards from the plant. That project, which started in the spring and is expected to be finished this fall, cost $1.85 million.

The second investment, which Malinowski called the “drop lot” project, will streamline deliveries and improve safety. The $2.75 million project began last year and is expected to wrap up in the spring. It includes a guard house and a new tractor-trailer entrance off Kittyhawk Avenue.

“We were bringing trailers in and kind of parking them around the back part of the building,” he said. “It really wasn’t efficient. There’s safety concerns when you’re moving a bunch of trailers around and you’ve got people walking around. We wanted to isolate them, have it organized.”

The new lot for deliveries and pickups will improve “congestion, productivity, safety (and) being a better neighbor to the folks across the street,” he said.

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