COLUMBIA, S.C.—As major tire makers invest billions in South Carolina, three suppliers to the industry are following suit with expansion efforts that represent a combined $51.3 million investment that will create more than 100 jobs for the state.
Intertex World Resources Inc.—a distributor of elastomers, masterbatches, natural and synthetic rubber, process oils, and carbon black—is investing $3.2 million to establish a facility in Moncks Corner, S.C.—about 35 miles from Charleston, S.C. The firm will service the South Carolina tire manufacturing industry at its 100,000-sq.-ft. facility, specializing in the warehousing and transloading of carbon black. The investment is projected to create 10 jobs in the area.
Steel cord and bead wire maker Kiswire Inc. is proceeding with an expansion at its plant in Newberry County, which is Northwest of Columbia, S.C., commencing work on the second phase of a $45 million, three-year project, projected to create 75 jobs.
And King Machine—a mold manufacturing and service company based in Charlotte, N.C.—is investing $3 million and will create 20 jobs as it establishes a new facility in Sumter County.
“When you look at what's going on within the tire industry, South Carolina is becoming the new Akron if you will, with all the production that has opened up or is going to be opening up in that state,” said Gary Horning, director of carbon black services at Intertex.
Michelin, Bridgestone Corp. and Continental A.G. currently operate a combined 13 tire manufacturing facilities in South Carolina, with facilities from Trelleborg A.B. and Giti Tire Group scheduled to open by 2016.