Bridgestone Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, announced Wednesday the construction of a new 1.5 million-square-foot off-road radial tire (ORR) manufacturing facility on a greenfield site in Aiken County, S.C.
Bridgestone Americas also announced an additional 474,000-square-foot expansion of the existing passenger (PSR) and light truck (LTR) tire plant in Aiken County. The company previously announced a 266,000-square-foot expansion of this plant in July of this year. When fully completed, these three projects will total a $1.2 billion investment and will increase Bridgestone Americas’ workforce in Aiken County by more than 850 jobs (direct and contractor positions).
The new ORR manufacturing facility will be located at a greenfield site in the Sage Mill Industrial Park in Aiken County. Previously, large and ultra-large ORR tires had been produced exclusively at Bridgestone Corporation’s Shimonoseki and Kitakyushu plants located in Japan.
The plant will be built with a focus on the environment. The company plans to achieve LEED Construction Certification by incorporating state-of-the-art technology in its facility and equipment design.
Timeline and key facts for construction and start-up are as follows:
- Manufacturing equipment for the first phase of the plant will be installed starting in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- The first production tire is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2014 with a target date of full phase one production by the end of 2015.
- The first phase of the project will initially create more than 330 full-time and contractor jobs.
- The project is expected to result in approximately 550 new full-time and contractor jobs when fully completed (planned for 2020).