Diverse companies – from startups to multinational corporations – continue to relocate and expand existing operations in the Charleston region.
Mainstream Pine Products LLC
January 29, 2021
Crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery
This facility will serve as the centerpiece of Mainstream’s strategy to become the highest quality, lowest cost producer of CTO derivatives in North America. CTO is a renewable, non-food resource and a byproduct of pine trees used in paper manufacturing. It is a vital component of many chemicals including renewable diesel processing products, lubricants, adhesives, inks, paints, coatings, and tire and rubber additives. Company officials say they chose the Berkeley site at Charleston International Manufacturing Center because it "affords an ideal manufacturing location in an integrated industrial park with reliable infrastructure and intermodal access for efficient delivery of source materials and shipping of refined products." The company anticipates starting construction later this year with operations commencing in 2023.
October 29, 2020
Headquarters and manufacturing of COVID-19 rapid test kits
Established in 2019, Vigilent Labs provides unique solutions to the detection, identification and assessment of health and bio-threats. The company's team has substantial experience in the development of medical and bio-surveillance technologies as well as medical devices. Located at 1105 Truxton Avenue, Building 74 in North Charleston, Vigilent Labs' new operations will serve as the company's headquarters, which will include its East Coast production and manufacturing operations. Specifically, the company will work with its partners, SeroClinix and Leinco, to produce rapid COVID-19 antibody and antigen test kits. These FDA-approved and emergency use authorized test kits are cost-effective and will produce fast and accurate results in seven to 10 minutes. The new facility will begin manufacturing activities in December.
New, Expanding, and Mergers & Acquisitions
March 30, 2021
Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced that it will build the next generation eSprinter van -- based on the newly developed Electric Versatility Platform -- at three locations: North Charleston, South Carolina, and Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde in Germany. The current generation of the eSprinter is already being built in Düsseldorf together on one line with conventionally driven Sprinter models. The principle of manufacturing both drive train variants will now also be implemented at the plants in Charleston and Ludwigsfelde. This will allow the company to respond more precisely to the respective market needs in the future. The North Charleston plant will be the first to bring the next generation of the eSprinter to the United States, and the necessary conversions within the plant and retraining are currently under preparation. Production is planned to begin in the second half of 2023.
March 18, 2021
Google established operations in Berkeley County, South Carolina in 2007, and this data center expansion brings the company’s total investment in the state to $2.9 billion. Nationally, Google plans to invest more than $7 billion and create at least 10,000 new, full-time Google jobs across the United States this year. “I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the people and small businesses that give them life,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet. "Google wants to be a part of that recovery." Google.org has awarded more than $2M in grants to nonprofits and organizations based in South Carolina, including grants to the Berkeley County School District and Fast Forward. These investments provided free internet to households with school-aged children and technology education and computer access to underserved South Carolinians. Most recently, Google has been supporting distance learning during Covid-19 with computer donations and "Rolling Hot Spots" to support digital connectivity and remote learning for students in the Berkeley County School District. Google's recent 2020 Economic Impact Report shows their firm generated $4.02 billion in economic activity in South Carolina in 2020.
ARD Logistics DBA Key Logistics
September 30, 2020
A Ladson company that provides logistics services for Cummins Turbo Technologies is laying off 106 workers, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be out of a job. ARD Logistics, which does business as Key Logistics Solutions, told the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce that Cummins “has decided for strategic reasons” to terminate its contract as of Sept. 30. All of the workers are expected to be hired by Cummins or another logistics firm working with the turbocharger manufacturer. “We are currently working on a transition plan to seamlessly move this work back to the Cummins organization or a third-party identified by Cummins,” said ARD Logistics officials.
SKF Aero Bearings
September 24, 2020
Precision bearings manufacturer
By the end of 2021, SKF will consolidate its North Charleston plant and another in Avon, Ohio, into its existing Sumter SC location, affecting approximately 120 Charleston area jobs. SKF's joint venture with GE Aviation, Venture Aerobearings LLC (established in the Charleston area in 2007) will remain in the Charleston Metro Area. The firm reports the shifts as part of broader corporate-wide restructuring necessary to maintain competitiveness.