EDGECOMBE COUNTY, N.C. — Triangle Tire USA Inc. is reporting that the heavy rains and flooding associated with Hurricane Florence did not impact the site in Edgecombe County that's being cleared for the pair of tire plants the Chinese tire maker is planning to build there.
Even though Triangle Tire has not held an official groundbreaking, contractors working for the company have cleared hundreds of acres of land at the site where the plants — representing an investment of $580 million — are to be built.
The company said the drainage at the site, which comprises 1,449 acres, worked as designed and holding ponds there did not overflow. The company has posted a video showing an aerial view of the site being cleared.
Edgecombe County is a rural area considered part of the Rocky Mount, N.C., metropolitan statistical area situated 60 miles east of Raleigh, N.C.
The company said it expects work on the first of the two plants, for passenger and light truck tires, to be completed by April 2020. The second phase will be a commercial truck tire factory.
The factories — with projected capacities of 6 million passenger/light truck and 1 million truck/bus tires, respectively — will share a rubber-mixing facility, Triangle said.
"We're excited to see progress being made on what promises to be one of the most technologically advanced tire plants in the world," Triangle Tire USA CEO Manny Cicero said.
"We're also pleased to be making good progress on developing relationships with some of the industry's top distributors and dealers."