STARR — Michelin North America will roll out its first earthmover tire from a new plant in Starr this week.
The company has scheduled an invitation-only event Thursday to unveil the new tire, which stands 13 feet tall and weighs 5.5 tons.
Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to attend, along with several other dignitaries.
The company announced in April 2012 that it would spend $750 million to build a new plant in Anderson County and to expand a plant in Lexington County. Both plants will produce the huge tires, which are used in mining and construction work. The two projects will bring up to 500 jobs to South Carolina, according to Michelin officials.
While Michelin has not disclosed exactly how many of those jobs will come to Starr, economic development officials are hopeful that Anderson County will get at least 300 of them.
The new plant in Starr is adjacent to the company’s existing plant in southern Anderson County. The company has more than 800 acres off U.S. 29 South, which is near First Quality Enterprises and Electrolux. Michelin’s existing Starr plant already employs more than 200 workers who specialize in making rubber.
In Sandy Springs, Michelin runs one of the world’s largest rubber-processing plants. Michelin already has at least 700 employees in Anderson County and an annual payroll of $28 million.
Michelin has other earthmover tire plants in Brazil, Canada, Romania and France.
Company spokesman Lauren Davis said the plant in Starr went up in nearly record time.
Rusty Burns, Anderson County’s interim administrator, said the county is grateful for Michelin’s latest addition.
“Anderson County and Michelin have a special relationship curried over many years,” Burns said. “We are looking forward to more good news, and to maintaining that relationship.”