LAGRANGE, Ga.—Qingdao Sentury Tire Co. Ltd. has selected SSOE Group of Toledo, Ohio, to design the $530 million, 1.4 million-sq.-ft. tire plant it's planning to build in LaGrange.
Sentury said it expects to break ground on the project this year—although the timing of that step has yet to be disclosed—in order to have the plant operational by 2019.
Sentury has secured a 400-acre plot in the LaGrange Callaway South Industrial Park for the plant, whose first-phase capacity is pegged at 12 million units a year with up to 1,000 employees.
Sentury said it selected SSOE because of its "extensive experience" with tire manufacturing facilities worldwide as well as its portfolio in the southeastern U.S., where, among other projects, it designed Volkswagen A.G.'s car assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Among SSOE's previous tire plant experience is Continental A.G.'s factory in Sumter, S.C.; Goodyear plants in China, India, Columbia, South Africa, Philippines and Argentina; and Bridgestone Corp. in North Carolina, Tennessee and Monterrey, Mexico.
SSOE also will provide permitting and owner's representative services with an on-site team for the duration of construction.
SSOE describes itself as a "project delivery firm for architecture, engineering and construction management," with offices in 20 countries and projects in 40.
Sentury Tire North America CEO Rami Helminen said SSOE will be instrumental in helping Sentury bring a "4.0 smart factory" to Georgia.