ANDERSON, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. commissioned production at a ceremony on Thursday at its $750 million off-road tire plant in Anderson, just 18 months after breaking ground on the factory.
The plant is dedicated to the production of giant OTR tires up to 63 inches in rim diameter, primarily for the mining industries, the company said. The plant will produce for export as well as domestic customers.
The investment, disclosed in April 2012, also included funds to expand capacity at its existing OTR tire plant in Lexington, S.C. The two projects are expected to create up to 500 jobs.
The new plant is built on land near a rubber compounding/calendering plant near Anderson, a community of about 26,000 located an hour southwest of Michelin's headquarters in Greenville, S.C.
At the time it disclosed the investment, Michelin cited "unprecedented demand" for earthmover tires throughout the world. Michelin derives about 15 percent of its sales annually from its specialty tire businesses, predominantly from the OTR segment.
Michelin operates six other earthmover tire plants globally: Waterville, Nova Scotia; Campo Grande, Brazil; Le Puy and Montceau-les-Mines, France; Vitoria, Spain; and Zalau, Romania.
The state of South Carolina offered to contribute $9.1 million in funding toward the project, Michelin said earlier, and Michelin will benefit from provisions from Anderson and Lexington counties allowing the firm to pay fees in lieu of taxes.