Michelin to boost North American compound capacity – $200M project announced
A planned expansion at Michelin’s semi-finished rubber factory in Starr, South Carolina, will meet heightened overall tyre production demands at the tyre maker’s North American facilities. Capacity at the Starr plant, one of two Michelin factories producing rubber compound within the region (the other being Sandy Springs, Michelin’s largest rubber-producing facility in the world), will increase through a US$200 million expansion project that will begin operation in 2014. Michelin has not stated what the Starr plant’s capacity will be following the project’s completion.
News of the Starr expansion was announced on 24 January and is the latest in a string of major manufacturing commitments made by Michelin North America. Together, these projects represent a $1.15 billion investment by Michelin in South Carolina and the creation of at least 870 new manufacturing jobs in the state. The Starr project alone will create more than 100 new jobs.
“I am proud to say this new expansion at this facility is one of the lynchpins that will allow us to maintain Michelin’s industry leadership in providing customers with the best tyres in all categories,” said Pete Selleck, chairman and president of Michelin North America. “Michelin’s continued investment in Anderson County and the state of South Carolina is a testament to our proven, high-quality workforce here.”
“This facility produces the quality rubber compound used in Michelin’s tyres, and its ability to meet the strong demand for our products is critically important,” added Rich Kornacki, executive vice-president of Michelin North America and head of the specialty product lines. “We are proud to place yet another one of Michelin’s key plants in Anderson County, South Carolina, an area that has been great for our business.”
Michelin is South Carolina’s largest manufacturing employer. When all construction projects are complete, nearly 9,000 of Michelin’s 22,000 employees in North America will be located in South Carolina. Nine of Michelin North America’s 18 production facilities are located in the state.
“We are delighted that Michelin again has decided to invest in our great state and our wonderful county,” said Anderson County Council chairman Francis Crowder. “The relationship between Anderson County and Michelin has been long and fruitful. Today Michelin will again add quality jobs and investment to our area. We are truly blessed and we pledge to continue nurturing this very special relationship now and in the future.”
Construction work has already begun on the Starr plant expansion, adjacent to the current facility. Also nearby is Michelin’s previously announced and now under construction earthmover tyre plant; this is scheduled to begin producing tyres later this year.