A committee of South Carolina lawmakers is considering issuing $40.5 million in bonds as an incentive to support the construction of a tire manufacturing plant by Wanli Tire Corp. Ltd. The company says the first phase of construction will include a capacity of 6 million consumer tires annually.
The Chinese tire maker “plans to construct facilities in Orangeburg County.” Paperwork filed with the South Carolina Joint Bond Review Committee indicates Wanli will invest at least $400 million and the plant will employ 400.
In a press release Wanli says it will invest $1 billion in two phases over an eight-year timeframe. Fu Shouje, chairman of the Vanlead Group, says, "We have acquired the capability to participate in the real world competition."
The company hosted a U.S. Investment Cooperation Conference in Guangdong Province this spring with Daniel Young from the South Carolina Department of Commerce and provincial leaders.
The plant will be located in Orangeburg County, which is south of Columbia, S.C., and northwest of Charleston, S.C.
The bonds will be used for site preparation and construction of rail spur and roadways, according to documents filed with the legislative committee. The committee's meeting began at 9:30 a.m. on June 6, 2017.
Adrienne Fairwell, director of marketing and communications for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, says the bond committee’s vote “is another step in the process of hopefully locating a plant to South Carolina.” But she noted there are still many approvals remaining in the process before the plant is finalized.
According to its website, Wanli says it has the annual capacity to build 16 million tires in China, and “is the largest radial tire manufacturer in Southern China and one of the largest radial tire exporters in the country.” The company employs 2,100 people.