FITESA to Locate Manufacturing Facility in Laurens County

October 14, 2008

Brazilian Advanced Nonwovens Producer to Invest $120 million and Create 80 jobs

COLUMBIA, SC – October 14, 2008 – Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Laurens County and the Upstate Alliance today announced that FITESA, a Brazilian manufacturer of polypropylene nonwoven fabrics, will invest and locate its new North American operations in Laurens County, South Carolina.  FITESA plans to invest $120 million and create 80 jobs at its South Carolina facility.

“This initiative is part of the company’s long term growth strategy and reassures the commitment to FITESA’s customers in the NAFTA region. For this reason, South Carolina has a strong importance due to its proximity to major ports, easy access to railroads and highways and excellent manpower and infrastructure availability,” says FITESA’s Managing Director, Mr. Silverio Baranzano.

Gov. Sanford recruited FITESA during the Department of Commerce’s trade mission to Brazil in June. 

“As we work to compete in the global economy our ability to attract foreign direct investment and job creation of this size is increasingly important. Today’s news certainly speaks to our success in that regard.  As well, it’s also another sign that our efforts to enhance South Carolina’s pro-business environment are working to grow opportunity not only in our urban areas but also in our smaller communities.  We remain committed to continuing these efforts to improve the economic soil conditions to encourage investment and job creation,” said Gov. Mark Sanford.

FITESA, a PETROPAR company, is one of the largest polypropylene nonwoven producers in the world.  FITESA’s nonwovens are used as raw material in numerous everyday products including disposable diapers and hygiene products, medical apparel, home furnishings and mattresses.  Other product applications include agriculture, automotive, construction, footwear and luggage, industrial disposables and packaging. 

“FITESA is a global player in the production of polypropylene nonwovens with numerous applications ranging from use in the hygiene industry to medical supplies.  FITESA’s decision to locate in South Carolina is further evidence that state’s business-friendly climate and skilled workforce are working to increase the state’s competitive advantage.  This announcement is also a positive reflection of South Carolina’s growing advanced materials industry. This type of advanced textile production is attracting new investment and creating job opportunities throughout South Carolina,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

FITESA will initially construct a 225,000 square foot facility that will have expansion capabilities in the years ahead.  FITESA will be the inaugural tenant of the Owings Industrial Park in Laurens County.

“We are extremely pleased that FITESA chose Laurens County for their new facility.  We look forward to working with them to establish and grow their facility in Laurens County,” Jim Coleman, chairman, Laurens County Council.

“The Laurens County Development Corporation envisioned Owings Industrial Park serving the plastic industry. FITESA is a perfect match for that vision,” said Marvin Moss, executive director Laurens County Development Corporation.

“FITESA’s is a great fit for Laurens County and the Upstate of South Carolina and solidifies our states position in the Advanced Materials Industry. This has been a true team effort on behalf of our state and FITESA,” said Hal Johnson, president and CEO, Upstate South Carolina Alliance.  

“We are very proud to have FITESA as the first tenant in Owings Industrial Park.  We look forward to a long prosperous relationship,” said Ted Nash, Laurens County Council district 1.

FITESA has one supersite in southern Brazil, Gravatai, Rio Grande do Sul, in which nonwovens of different technologies are produced. The company is owned by Petropar in Brazil. 

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