State and local officials on Tuesday joined with executives from Toray Industries to break ground on the Japanese manufacturer's $1.4 billion plant that will be constructed on 400 acres near the intersection of highways 290 and 221 in Moore.
The project, which was announced in February 2014, is South Carolina's largest initial investment in a new production facility ever. It will initially create about 500 jobs.
Akihiro Nikkaku, president and CEO of Toray, said the plant is expected to begin operations in summer 2017. It will specialize in the production of precast and prepreg carbon fiber for the company's customers in North America, including Boeing's facility in North Charleston, which will use it in its 787 Dreamliner and new 777x passenger jet
“Toray is and will continue to be the world leader in carbon fiber, both in quality and capacity,” Nikkaku said. “Outside of Japan, this new site will be Toray's only fully-integrated carbon fiber facility… We are all excited about this historic South Carolina project that will open a new chapter in Toray's 97th anniversary year.”
Tuesday's ceremony marked another milestone in a project that leaders said required several years of hard work, pooling resources and a lot of teamwork.
“When we look back this was a long time coming. There were a lot of years, talks and relationships and things we had to build to get to this point,” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said. “They care about the quality of their product. They care about the ability to have a workforce that can maintain their reputation. They cared about the community they were going to live in. And they wanted to be actively involved and be in a community that would accept them back.”