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China manufacturer to invest $11.1M in new Columbia plant

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The former Boozer Truss facility on Atlas Road will be the location of China Hengshi's fiberglass manufacturing facility. (Colliers International photo)A China-based manufacturer of fiberglass fabric announced today plans to locate a new manufacturing operation off Atlas Road in Richland County. China Hengshi Foundation Co.’s $11.1 million investment is expected to create 48 jobs, according to a release from the S.C. Department of Commerce.

Founded in 2000, China Hengshi specializes in the research, development, production and marketing of a variety of fiber-weaving products for export around the world, the release said. Its products are primarily used in wind turbine blades, the company's products are also utilized in space flight, aviation, construction, transportation, environmental protection and more.

"Today marks another milestone for our company as we are starting our first South Carolina operations,” China Hengshi chairman Zhang Yuqiang, said in a statement. “We are very excited about the future of our company and are thrilled that we can support the local community as we launch this new facility."

According to the release, the company intends to have its 111,000-square-foot facility at 1440 Atlas Road operational by the fourth quarter of 2017. The building was previously occupied by the Boozer Lumber Truss and marketed by Colliers International South Carolina.

The building is located on a 5.9-acre site in southeast Columbia and just off Shop Road, about a mile from Interstate 77.

Boozer Lumber, founded in 1946, went out of business in July 2008.

“It's a privilege to welcome any company that has decided to do business here, but the 48 new jobs that this investment means for Richland County is an important step forward to continuing the growth of our manufacturing industry," Gov. Henry McMaster, said in a statement.

Today’s announcement marks the second major investment in the past 12 months that’s being made by a China-based manufacturer in Richland County. On May 31 of last year, China Jushi announced plans to invest up to $500 million and create 800 jobs in a greenfield manufacturing facility in Pineview Industrial Park, located off Pineview Road in southeast Columbia.

"South Carolina has long been a strong player in both manufacturing and foreign direct investment, and this tremendous $11.1 million investment only reinforces that notion,” said S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt. “We look forward to our new partnership with China Hengshi Foundation Company."

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.

"China Hengshi's announcement is a further demonstration that Richland County's decision to invest in economic development is paying dividends," Richland County Council Chair Joyce Dickerson said in a statement.

Hiring for the new positions is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2017, and interested applicants should visit the company's website or contact lewis.stern@hengshiusa.com. ReadySC has also established a microsite to assist in hiring for China Hengshi. 

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