China Jushi USA has announced plans to break ground Dec. 8 for a $300 million manufacturing facility in southeast Columbia.
The project – the company’s first in North America – is the largest economic development announcement in Richland County since Union Camp hatched plans for a $600 million paper mill in Eastover in 1981, county officials said, citing S.C. Department of Commerce records.
The Zhejiang, China-based company makes fiberglass reinforcements and fabrics used by the reinforced plastics industry.
Construction of the plant at the 900-acre Pineview Industrial Park near Shop Road is expected to be completed within two years. The investment is expected to create 400 jobs.
“Jushi’s decision to locate in Richland County is a major step forward in our quest to recruit world-class companies,” Richland County Council Chairman Torrey Rush said in a statement. “… The county is committed to the company’s long-term success in South Carolina.”
The Pineview location was originally slated to be the site of a new State Farmers Market, but that plan was scuttled in favor of in Lexington County. The Pineview park offers close access to Interstate 77 and is bordered by a Norfolk Southern rail line.
The China Jushi announcement also represents an example of the state’s ability to attract foreign direct investment. Earlier this year, fDi magazine ranked South Carolina as the national champion in recruiting overseas-based companies to invest in the state.
"Bringing jobs and investment from across the world into both our state and nation are critical components of Team South Carolina’s economic development strategy,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “With approximately 1,200 international establishments currently operating and employing more than 115,000 workers within our borders, it’s clear that the strategy is working.”
The magazine’s No. 1 ranking of South Carolina was based on data collected on foreign direct investment projects in the United States between September 2014 and August 2015. South Carolina topped North Carolina, Indiana and California for the title.