County Council Signing (copy)

Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright signs a development agreement with the Gnotec Group and the S.C. Department of Commerce in November 2018. Pictured, clockwise, are Councilmen Willie B. Owens, Heyward Livingston, Johnny Ravenell, Harry Wimberly and then-Councilwoman Ray Wannamaker Sabalis. Orangeburg County Council Vice Chairwoman Janie Cooper-Smith is not pictured. Gnotec is locating in Cooper-Smith's district.

A Volvo supplier announced in November 2018 that it is locating in Orangeburg County.

Gnotec Group, a Swedish firm, is going to invest $5.9 million and create 78 new jobs over the next five years. It is the company's first North American plant.

“We at Gnotec Group are excited to take the next step in our development to support our global customers by adding operations in the United States," Gnotec Group CEO Jörgen Oldenstedt said.

"We are very satisfied with Orangeburg County’s great logistics position, as well as South Carolina’s growing automotive industry, skilled workforce and excellent support for our establishment,” he said.

Gnotec will locate in a 30,000-square-foot production facility in the Carolina Regional Park off of U.S. 601 near Interstate 26. The building formerly housed flooring company Mohawk Industries Inc.

Gnotec will use the facility initially for warehousing and then manufacturing operations focused on welding and product assembly.

It is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2019.

"Gnotec is a leading Scandinavian company that will support nearby Volvo Cars," Orangeburg County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr. said. "We welcome many more suppliers to Orangeburg County and the South Carolina Global Logistics Triangle."

The company will receive tax incentives from the county, including a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement and special source revenue credits.

The company will be taxed at a 6% assessment ratio at a rate of 370.1 mills for 30 years. The typical assessment ratio for business in South Carolina is 10.5%.

Orangeburg County Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith praised the company's decision to locate in County Council District 5.

"I believe the sleeping giant has awakened," Cooper-Smith said, welcoming the company to the county. "We also welcome you to the use of our institutions of higher learning. We want and need you to remain here for many generations to come."

“Orangeburg County continues to be the chosen location to live, work, learn, shop and play," Orangeburg County Development Commission Chairman Ken Middleton said. "The word is getting out around the world. Sweden now represents the single largest manufacturing investor in Orangeburg County and we wish Gnotec continued success.”

Fort Motte LLC partner Marion Moore helped develop the Carolina Regional Park to attract suppliers of companies such as Volvo.

"With the Port of Charleston only 60 miles away and four major interstates within 35 miles, Carolina Regional Park is one of the great manufacturing/distribution locations in all of South Carolina," Moore said. "Adding a company of Gnotec’s quality will enhance our parks and Orangeburg County’s visibility to other Volvo suppliers and to other automotive entities seeking to locate in South Carolina’s Global Logistics Triangle.”

Gnotec's arrival comes as Volvo cranks up operations at its Berkeley County plant, which will serve as the global production site for Volvo’s all-new S60 sedan. The plant is expected to produce the next-generation XC90 in 2021.

The plant will make over 150,000 cars annually. Volvo announced it will create almost 4,000 jobs over the next five years.

The plant is about 20 miles from Interstate 95 and the Orangeburg County line.

Gov. Henry McMaster described Gnotec’s announcement as representing, “not only the strength of our automotive industry, but the strength of our state’s economy as a whole.”

“The talented workforce in South Carolina has established a reputation as one of the best in the world," McMaster said.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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