GRANITEVILLE, S.C.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. is celebrating its expanded capabilities in Aiken County, S.C., with the opening of a new plant and an ongoing capacity increase to its existing passenger tire facility, both located in Graniteville.
The firm will open its off-the-road radial tire plant with a ceremony on Nov. 18. The 1.6 million-sq.-ft. building represents an investment of $1.1 billion, ORR Plant Manager Ron Brooks said. It currently employs 375 and produces 39.5 raw rubber tons per day.
“I'm really excited,” he said. “It's a brand new facility on 550 acres. It's a U.S. certified wildlife habitat area and the campus is absolutely beautiful. Any time you're involved in a new startup, the people are energetic and it's exciting to be around them.
“It's going to be a beautiful facility for our customers to see and I think they're going to be really impressed with it.”
Bridgestone also completed the addition of a new warehouse to its nearby passenger tire plant and will continue to install equipment in the 2.4 million-sq.-ft. building until it is producing 37,750 tires per day by the end of 2015, PSR Plant Manager Fran Jones said. The facility currently is producing about 33,000 tires per day.
Jones said the firm is adding six more machines and some curing presses to complete the expansion process.
The PSR facility employs 1,340 and projects to reach 1,453 when the expansion is complete.
The expansion added 740,000 square feet to the building. Bridgestone invested $200 million with $26 million invested in the added warehouse capacity. The total investment in the PSR facility since it opened in 1998 has been $683 million.