STARR, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. said it will spend $200 million through 2014 to increase rubber compounding capacity at its Starr plant to support tire manufacturing capacity expansions under way at other Michelin factories in South Carolina.
The project will create 100 jobs at the 12-year-old facility, Michelin said. The company didn't give capacity levels or other details of the expansion.
Michelin, including the Starr expansions, has committed $1.15 billion in investment to operations in South Carolina in the past 21 months. The projects represent at least 870 new manufacturing jobs in the state, the French-owned company said.
The Starr facility expansion is a lynchpin in Michelin's drive to maintain industry leadership, 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," he said.
Construction has begun on the Starr plant expansion on land adjacent to the current facility. Also under construction nearby is the new earthmover plant Michelin announced last year. That plant is scheduled to begin producing tires later this year.
The Starr factory is one of two semi-finished rubber production plants Michelin operates in Anderson County, S.C. The other, in Sandy Springs, is the company's largest rubber-producing plant worldwide.
"This facility produces the quality rubber compound used in Michelin's tires, and its ability to meet the strong demand for our products is critically important," said Rich Kornacki, executive vice president of Michelin North America and head of the specialty product lines.
Michelin employs nearly 9,000 in South Carolina, making it one of the state's largest manufacturing employers.
Anderson County Council Chairman Francis Crowder called the relationship between Michelin and the county "long and fruitful."