A North Augusta business broke ground Wednesday on its $1 million expansion.
Carolina CoverTech, a manufacturer of awnings and medical compression boots, is experiencing sales growth because of the expansion of oil and gas fracking.
The 8,000-square-foot expansion should be done by December, President Rian True said.
“Our biggest area of growth is spill containment,” he said. “We have for 25 years been manufacturing portable, flexible secondary containment.”
With the shale oil expansion in North America, he said, there has been an explosion of demand from oil companies to have protection against spills. CoverTech can make oil and chemical resistant tarps for those drilling sites.
“There is a ton of equipment that goes onto these sites. The oil companies are all about safety and cleanliness,” True said. “Some people don’t like drilling … so they really are doing a fantastic job of keeping it clean. The product we make keeps it clean.”
In its 21,000-square-foot facility at 114 Shortcut Road, Carolina CoverTech designs and manufactures products in vinyl, cotton and plastics.
The products range from boat covers and vinyl tubing to golf cart accessories and zip-up industrial storage tarps.
True said concrete work will take a couple of weeks, after which a metal building will be delivered.
CoverTech has 71 employees and will grow by 10 more during the next year, True said.
“It’s a great day when I see jobs being created,” said U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens. “I see energy as a segue to job creation. As we approach energy independence in this country, there is going to be expanded energy production, and that means expanded opportunities for Carolina CoverTech products.”
The company was founded in 1858 as a furniture store and began making canvas awnings in 1925.
CoverTech was in Olympic news in 2012 when one of its product lines, which it makes for medical device company NormaTec, was highlighted in a New York Times article on the U.S. women’s soccer team at the London games. It still manufactures the air compression boots and arm sleeves.