Michelin Plans South Carolina OTR Expansion
Michelin is planning to expand a Lexington County, South Carolina plant that makes large earthmover tyres, the associated has press reported. With reference to the current earthmover tyre shortage, Michelin said the company is investing in a South Carolina facility “west of Columbia.” He said capacity will be added there but did not discuss the size of an expansion nor a definitive timetable.
Apparently surprised by the remarks, Jim Micali, Michelin North America chairman, told reporters: “We don’t have anything to announce today.” Michelin agreed adding: “more capacity, more product is possible at this factory.” Micali said later it would be better to talk about Lexington in about three days.
Michelin said several factors are driving high demand for the huge tires, used on everything from quarry equipment to huge earth excavators. Demand has grown particularly as China and India have expanded mining operations for basic resources.
Another explanation for the increased demand comes from the fact that oil companies are seen as increasingly opting for oil sand as an oil resource. Michelin pointed out that oil sand is not extracted with drills, but is rather excavated trucks and trucks, of course, use tyres.
The Lexington county earthmover plant was built in 1998 and currently employs 256 people.