Fiberglass maker builds in S.C.

By Hong Xiao in Richland County, South Carolina | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-12-09 11:39

Fiberglass maker builds in S.C.

China Jushi, a global manufacturer and promoter of fiberglass products, broke ground for a $300 million, 80,000-ton fiberglass production line in Richland County, South Carolina on Thursday.

"Not only is this an important day for Richland County, this is an important one for our state. This $300 million investment creating 400 jobs in its first phase is very significant," said Robert M. Hitt III, secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

The construction of the plant by Jushi USA, which is heaquarted in Irwindale, California, represents another strategic milestone by China Jushi after a project in Egypt.

According to Zhang Yuqiang, president of China Jushi and chairman and CEO of Jushi Group, the project will help drive growth in the local economy and create jobs.

The plant will anchor the Pineview Industrial Park, according to The 900-acre site is near Interstate 77, and a Norfolk Southern rail line traverses the park.

"We're excited to announce the largest capital investment in Richland County since 1981," Richland County Council Chairman Torrey Rush told scbusinessnews. "It's a big deal for Richland County."

Zhang said the investment will make it possible for Jushi to localize production, research and development, and hire talent in the US to better serve its customers. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Zhang recalled that it had been five years since he first visited the state to scout the site.

"In the past five years, together with the South Carolina state government, a great deal of initial work has been done, and many uncertainties have been cleared so that the preparation work for the project has proceeded well and the investment agreement was finally executed in Tongxiang, China on May 28," Zhang said.

Zhang said that the US is where fiberglass was born, and it was once the biggest fiberglass producer and consumer in the world.

"The US market is our biggest overseas market. America has a sophisticated fiberglass industry and broad market, abundant resources and a great growth prospect for fiberglass," Zhang said.

"The fact that we have selected to build our plant in the US demonstrates not only our determination to be further globalized, but also our strength and capability to build world-class fiberglass production lines in any country of the world," he said.

Since its founding, China Jushi has been committed to "exploring markets firstly and then building plants".

Jushi Group owns three fiberglass production bases in Tongxiang, Zhejiang province, Jiujiang, Jiangxi province; and Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Jushi Group owns proprietary core technologies for large E-glass fiber furnaces, C-glass fiber furnaces and waste fiber recycling furnaces.

America was Jushi's first overseas market when it started to export its products in 1995.

The Jushi US plant will be the company's second large-scale overseas plant, Zhang said.

As a leader in advanced technology and cost-reduction in the fiberglass industry, the Jushi USA project will be adopting "world-class" environmental protection technologies to realize both social and economic benefits.

The environmental protection technologies for the project meet US discharge and emission standards.

South Carolina, the Palmetto State, is known not only for its beautiful natural scenery, but also a solid industrial base, scientific and technological strength and efficient labor force, which will ensure that Jushi USA will have a good environment for growth and a pool of employee talent.

Zhang said that besides contributing to the local employment, tax revenue, the growth of the local economy and extending the industrial chain, Jushi will do its best to write a new chapter in China-US mutually beneficial cooperation.

According to Hitt, South Carolina has enjoyed a sound relationship with China. Last year, China was one of South Carolina's top export partners, counting for $4.4 billion of the state's exports.

"Chinese investment in South Carolina can be traced back to early 2000, when Haier, a refrigerator manufacturer, set up its first overseas facility in Camden," said Zhu Hong, minister of the Chinese embassy in Washington.

"Up to now, there have been over 30 Chinese enterprises investing in South Carolina, providing more than 1,300 local jobs. These figures will continue to grow."



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