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RICHBURG – The long-awaited industrial project in Chester County doesn’t have to go by the name “Project 1233” anymore.
JN Fibers Inc., a manufacturer of recycled polyester staple fiber products, is establishing a new manufacturing facility in Chester County.
The $45 million investment is expected to generate 318 new jobs.
“We are pleased by the opportunity to establish new operations in Chester County. South Carolina is the perfect fit for our business’ needs. With an excellent business environment and access to markets, as well as top-notch workforce talent, we look forward to getting our operations in Richburg up and running. We appreciate all the support we’ve received from state and local officials,” said Mark Bachner, senior vice president of operations for JN Fibers Inc.
Headquartered in Zhejiang, China, JN Fibers Inc. will establish its new production facility in an existing building at 1247 Frederick Drive in Richburg. The location currently houses Schumacher, which will relocate.
The new plant will recycle discarded soda and water bottles and transform them into recycled polyester staple fibers for use in home textiles, furniture, upholstery and automotive industries.
“Today’s announcement is another big win for one of our state’s rural areas,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “We celebrate JN Fibers’ decision to invest $45 million and create 318 new jobs in Richburg. This announcement shows that South Carolina has done the right things to be competitive on the global stage.”
The company plans to up-fit the existing building as well as add building space on the facility’s campus, for a total of 600,000 square feet.
The JN Fibers plant is expected to begin operations in the third quarter of 2014 and hiring for the new positions in the second quarter of 2014.
“South Carolina’s manufacturing renaissance is getting a big boost from today’s announcement by JN Fibers,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Every one of these new jobs will have an impact in Chester County and throughout the state. We welcome JN Fibers to South Carolina, and look forward to the company’s success here.”
Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $9 billion in capital investment and more than 26,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. Chester County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey said the announcement is a big victory for the county as a whole.
“It is an exciting day for everyone in Chester County as we celebrate the addition of an outstanding new corporate citizen that will provide quality, good-paying jobs for the citizens in our community,” Roddey said.
Mike Enoch, chairman of the Chester Development Association, echoed Roddey’s sentiments.
“We are delighted and very proud JN Fibers made the decision to ‘Choose Chester’ County for their new location,” Enoch said. “Their decision to locate here is a testament to the quality of our community and the determination of the team that worked to make this investment possible.”
Impacts S.C. coast
JN Fibers will not just have an impact in Chester County. The positive impact will stretch as far the South Carolina coast.
“The South Carolina Ports Authority welcomes JN Fibers to the state as a valued customer and user of Charleston Harbor,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. Ports Authority. “We wish them much success as they locate in Chester County and we look forward to facilitating the growth of their business.”
Bachner praises the commerce’s department assistance.
“JN Fibers Inc appreciates Mr. Ling Xinwei (John Ling) from the South Carolina Department of Commerce China Office for guiding us through the process and helping us get to know South Carolina and making the project a reality,” Bachner added. “Everyone at the department of commerce and the governor’s office has been so helpful during the site selection.”
JN Fibers Inc. will operate the factory and market their products under their subsidiary Sun Fibers LLC.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a rural infrastructure grant of $800,000 and approved job development credits.
The first signs of the big announcement came at the Chester County Council’s regular meeting on Aug. 19.
Unanimous approval was given to first reading of an ordinance calling for “the execution and delivery of a fee in lieu of tax agreement by and between Chester County and (Project 1233); the execution and delivery of an infrastructure finance agreement by and between Chester County and (Project 1233); the inclusion of certain real property located in Chester County in the York-Chester Industrial Park; the execution and delivery of such documents as may be necessary to effect the intent of this ordinance; and other matters related thereto.”
Second and third readings passed shortly thereafter and the announcement was expected to follow soon after.
It was held up for a few weeks by what Roddey called “minor logistical” issues, but he said it was more than worth the wait.
“JN Fibers’ decision to locate here is another sign that our economic development efforts are paying real dividends in attracting world-class companies and new job opportunities,” Roddey said.