BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A German chemical manufacturing company is coming to Berkeley County.
Evonik Industries specializes in producing chemicals that makes tires fuel-efficient.
The Charleston International Manufacturing Center at Bushy Park hosted the ground breaking ceremony.
Berkeley County Supervisor, Bill Peagler says the company is a good fit for the area.
"We have automotive production we have tire production we have other facets of automotive moving here to Berkeley County," Peagler said.
South Carolina leads the nation in production and exporting of tires. The state accounts for 28 percent of the nation's total export tire sales.
The new plant will supply precipitated silica to the tire industry that will create low-rolling resistance tires that use less energy as tires roll on the ground. This can save up to 8 percent of fuel in comparison to conventional tires and contributes to climate protection.
"They are an ecologically sound company," Peagler said.
Chairman of the Evonik executive board, Klause Engel, says they are looking to create more than 50 local jobs.
"All the major tire producers are here around South Carolina, it's important to serve them in a flexible, but also a reliable way," Engel said. "So proximity is very important, but also the infrastructure that we are finding here. The two rivers and the proximity to the coast is very important."
The plant is a $120 million investment, the German company's biggest investment in North America within the last 5 years.
"Bushy Park is a great area, there's much more space to do more," Engel said. "We are really looking forward here to grow our business together with our customers."
The construction of the plant will start this month and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2018.