Owens Corning plant project to create jobs in Aiken

AIKEN --- A $36 million investment will add a production line to Owens Corning's Wagener Road plant.


The company and the South Carolina Department of Commerce disclosed Wednesday that the deal was the secretive "Project Sunflower II" discussed earlier this month by Aiken County Council.

Sealing the deal after more than 18 months of negotiations was a coup for Aiken/Edgefield Economic Development Partnership and the county, who were going up against several other existing plants, said Director Fred Humes.

"It's been a continuous effort to work with the company. It was a competitive project and the company had to consider many factors before committing to put more money into a plant," he said.

Humes said 75 to 80 percent of the state's new capital investment comes from existing industry expansions, and keeping current companies satisfied with their investment is just as essential as attracting new companies.

Owens Corning's 50-year history in the area also means stable work for new employees, which is good news for job seekers.

Aiken County faced a setback earlier this year after Graniteville-based MCA Industries closed less than a year after relocating from Ohio. With it, a $93 million investment and about 100 jobs were lost.

The Owens Corning expansion, starting mid-2012, will create 24 jobs to man a new production line for non-woven glass fiber mat. The company has more than 100 employees at its Wagener Road site.

Per the county's agreement, the company is eligible for fee-in-lieu of taxes, which means Owens Corning would pay a fixed amount each year rather than property taxes, which can fluctuate. The agreement could last for 20 years, according to council's resolution.

Owens Corning, based in Toledo, Ohio, is a global producer of glass fiber reinforcements and engineered material for composite systems and residential commercial building materials. The company has 16,000 employees in 28 countries.