Bridgestone expanding Bloomington, US plant
Work has begun on a US$19.5 million expansion project at Bridgestone America Tire Operations’ Bloomington OTR plant in Illinois, USA, the tyre maker reports. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2013, and most of the investment is being directed towards the purchase and installation of new machinery. Additional capacity realised through the project will primarily go to the production of tyres used in heavy industry, and Bridgestone says at least 40 new jobs are expected to result from the plant expansion.
“With increasing demand in the market, we are very excited about this expansion of our OTR tyre production capacity in Bloomington,” said Ken Weaver, resident, US & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division, Bridgestone Americas. “This expansion will better position us to respond to changing market conditions and to support our customers’ growth strategies in markets around the world. At the same time, this new capacity will also allow us to be more responsive to the domestic market.”
Bloomington plant manager Monty Greutman described the announcement as “great news for our teammates and community partners in Bloomington.” He added: “An expansion of this size can be challenging and we are very grateful for the support we’ve received from the Economic Development Council of Bloomington-Normal for this project, which will create new jobs and provide an economic boost in our community.”
In addition to expanding the Bloomington facility, Bridgestone has already begun work on a 1.5 million square foot (140,000 square metre) large and ultra-large OTR plant in South Carolina, which will cost the company $970 million. In order to meet growing demand for off-road tyres, the company is also expanding capacity at its steel cord plant in Clarksville, Tennessee.
The Bridgestone Americas plant in Bloomington has been operated by the company since 1994 and currently has a workforce of 420.