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Jushi expected to be ‘backbone’ of Richland County’s new industrial park


Jushi – “Giant Stone”

In Chinese, Jushi means “giant stone,” which in Chinese culture forms the backbone of heaven and Earth. For Richland County, Jushi means a giant boost for the economy, and could serve as the backbone for future industrial recruitment to the county’s new 900-acre industrial park. Jushi USA will break ground in December 2016 for a $300 million fiberglass manufacturing plant in the Pineview Industrial Park at the foot of Shop Road near Interstate 77. The company will hire 400 workers for the facility, and by 2021, according to plant president Drew Walker, the firm plans to build an identical plant next door that would employ another 400.


World's Largest Fiberglass Manufacturer

Jushi, founded 25 years ago, is headquartered in Zhejiang, China. It is the world’s largest fiberglass manufacturer and, according to its website, “has attained the leadership position in the global fiberglass industry in terms of output, technology, market and profit.”


Jushi Group – which includes Jushi China and Jushi USA – has total assets of about $3 billion, 8,000 employees and a production capacity of more than one million tons of fiberglass, the company said.


Jushi Group produces E-glass and C-glass fiberglass products and a complete range of reinforcement fiberglass products including rovings, which are spools of fiberglass thread; chopped strands; stitched combo mats and chopped strand mats; powder and emulsion chopped strand mats; woven rovings and electrical yarn; and fabrics in more than 100 product categories and more than 1,000 specifications, according to the company.


Those materials are used in products that include bathtubs, speedboats, and lighter parts for automobiles and airplanes. The company’s largest clients are Siemens, BWM, Ford and Boeing. The products are sold in 30 provinces in China and exported to more than 100 countries, the company says, with exports accounting for 50 percent of the company’s total sales. Jushi in 2012 established a distribution center in Columbia, capitalizing on its proximity to the Port of Charleston and its central location in the Southeast.


The company has four fiberglass production facilities: Three plants in China and one in Egypt. And it boasts subsidiaries in South Africa, South Korea, Italy, Spain, France, Canada, India, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Hong Kong, according to the company.


The Pineview plant will be the company’s first production facility in the United States, according to Walker, an Englishman working for a Chinese company in South Carolina.


The facility will exclusively produce fiberglass rovings and chopped glass fiber for thermoplastics, Walker said. When completed two years from now, it will be the largest glass fiber rovings furnace, as the plants are called, in North America, overshadowing those owned by more recognizable rivals such as Owens-Corning.


The plant will produce 80,000 tons a year of the super-light fiberglass thread. The second plant will produce another 80,000 tons annually. Workers are expected to make $15 to $20 a hour.


“We really wanted to make a footprint in the U.S.,” said Walker, a veteran fiberglass production executive who was president and CEO of AGY fiberglass in Aiken for 10 years. “Instead of U.S. jobs going to China, we’re bringing Chinese jobs to South Carolina.”






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