Boeing supplier to open plant in Spartanburg Co.

February 19, 2014 

Boeing officials gave no indication during a morning press conference and tour, of whether or not South Carolina would land the new Boeing 777x assembly plant. This is the 737 Dreamliner final assembly plant.

TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate.com Buy Photo

— A Tokyo-based supplier to Boeing’s 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in North Charleston said it will invest $1 billion and create 500 jobs over the next decade at a new global facility in Spartanburg County.

Toray Industries Inc., a manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films and carbon fiber composite materials, said Tuesday the facility will be a major supplier of advanced materials to the aerospace industry.

State officials said the project represents one of the largest initial capital investments in South Carolina’s history.

As incentives, Toray was approved for job development tax credits and will receive $10 million in grant funding for land acquisition and real property improvements, a Commerce Department spokesperson said.

To receive the credits, the company must meet its investment and job-creation targets, said the spokesperson, Allison Skipper.

Toray has acquired approximately 400 acres along Highway 290 in Moore, with access to interstates 26 and 85, company and state officials said. The Spartanburg facility will offer proximity to major customers in both the United States and in Latin America, the officials said.

Toray is one of the world’s largest producers of carbon fiber, which has applications ranging from golf clubs to aircraft to natural gas pressure vessels.

“South Carolina offers Toray Industries an ideal location for our next North American manufacturing facility,” said Akihiro Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries.

“Here we will have proximity to major customers, both in the U.S. and in Latin American markets. We appreciate the great working relationship we have established with the state and local officials, and we look forward to becoming part of the South Carolina business community.”

Toray said it views the United States as a key expansion market for the company due to the revival in manufacturing that is pushing demand for advanced materials, particularly those used in the aerospace and energy-related industries.

Aerospace in South Carolina is a burgeoning industry, with more than 200 aerospace companies employing about 20,000 South Carolinians, state officials said.

Candy Eslinger, a spokesperson for Boeing in North Charleston, said Toray is “an important supplier” on the 787 program and “we support the company’s proactive efforts in regard to Boeing’s planned rates of more than 10 787 Dreamliners per month.”

Toray also supports Boeing’s 777 program, Eslinger said.

Toray Industries’ investment and 500 jobs “will be a real game-changer for the Upstate and all of South Carolina,” Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement.

“South Carolina is well-known as both a manufacturing powerhouse and a top location for foreign-owned firms to set up operations,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

“Toray’s decision to invest here underscores our growing expertise in composites and advanced materials as well as our global reputation as being just right for business.”

“We know who the golden goose is here in Spartanburg, and that is business and industry,” said David Britt, chairman of Spartanburg County Council’s economic development committee.

“For two decades, we have had an excellent partner in BMW, and we expect Toray to have a similar effect in our region.”

State Commerce officials said Bridgestone Americas’ $1.2 billion tire plant, announced in 2011 in Aiken County, marked the largest single initial capital investment in state history.

Bridgestone’s project included construction of a new 1.5 million-square-foot off-road radial tire manufacturing facility on a greenfield site and a 474,000-square-foot expansion of an existing passenger and light truck tire plant in the county.

- Staff Writer Rudolph Bell contributed.

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