Jushi USA broke ground in Richland County on Thursday morning on a fiberglass manufacturing plant that will employ 400 workers. A second plant that will employ another 400 people is expected to open by 2021.
State and local representatives attended the groundbreaking along with Jushi executives. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said Jushi will become the city’s largest water and sewer customer.
Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster stood in for Gov. Nikki Haley, who was in Washington on Thursday meeting with senators ahead of hearings on her nomination to become the ambassador to the United Nations.
McMaster exchanged gifts with Zhang Yuqiang, chairman of China Fiberglass and president of the Jushi Group, with the chairman receiving a South Carolina flag from the soon-to-be governor. McMaster explained the flag’s symbolism, including that the palmetto tree was used to build Fort Moultrie in 1775 to “secure our liberty” in the American Revolution.
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“And that includes your liberty to come to South Carolina,” he said.
State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt has called the announcement the biggest in Richland County since Union Camp in 1981.
The initial $300 million plant will be in the Pineview Industrial Park at the foot of Shop Road near Interstate 77.
Jushi Group – which includes Jushi China and Jushi USA – has total assets of about $3 billion, 8,000 employees and a production capacity of more than one million tons of fiberglass, the company said. This will be its first plant in the United States.