Barnwell plant to create 105 jobs in $230 million expansion


Kronotex facility to add fiberboard mill, expand flooring production

DEC. 22, 2015 | A Swiss company will invest $230 million and create 105 new jobs in an expansion of a Barnwell County plant, officials announced today. To support the expansion, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits, as well as a $1 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Barnwell County to assist with the costs of real property improvements related to the project.

Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products, and its American subsidiary, KronotexUSA Holdings, Inc., is investing $230 million to build a high-density fiberboard (HDF) mill and expand its laminate flooring production, an investment that will create 105 new jobs over the next few years.

“To have a great international company like Swiss Krono Group continue to grow, succeed and continue to invest in our state proves that the Team South Carolina approach to economic development is working,” Gov. Nikki Haley said today. “This $230 million investment, and the 105 new jobs it will create, is a real reason to celebrate, and we look forward to seeing the impact that this company will continue to have across our state.”

This expansion will allow KronotexUSA to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters.

“We’ve been very happy with the quality of the work force talent here in South Carolina,” said Norm Voss, former CEO and member of the board of directors of Kronotex USA Holdings, Inc. “And we’re delighted to be able to employ more Americans here in Barnwell and grow our exceptional relationship with the local people, businesses and government.”

Headquartered in Switzerland, Swiss Krono Group’s origins can be traced back to 1966. Today, with facilities in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States, the company employs more than 4,500 workers worldwide. In an effort to meet increased customer demand, Swiss Krono Group is expanding its existing KronotexUSA facility in Barnwell County, which is located at 810 Technology Drive in Barnwell, S.C.

“Kronotex continues to be a leader in their industry and a pillar of our local economy,” said Barnwell County Council Chairman David Kenner.We will continue to create the best business environment to encourage job growth and investment for companies like Kronotex USA, and we look forward to their expansion.”

Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction is expected to start by mid-2016, with HDF operations to begin by the summer of 2018. Once completed, this expansion will increase KronotexUSA’s Barnwell County’s workforce to 275 employees. Those interested in applying for one of the new positions should visit the company’s careers page online.

“Kronotex USA has provided hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in our area over the last decade,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips. SCA is the lead organization of the S.C. Lowcountry Promise Zone. “We congratulate Kronotex on their phenomenal growth at the Barnwell facility. This announcement is a great way to end the year and to kick-off 2016 for our region.”

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