Italian plastics company SO.F.TER Group announced that it has selected Lebanon, Tennessee as the site for its U.S. headquarters and a new manufacturing plant.
The project will require an investment of $11.5 Million to build a 100,000-square-feet facility which will have a production capacity of 50 million pounds.
The company has initial plans to create 50 new jobs in the next two or three years.
They plan to subsequently expand the facility on the 21 acre site in Wilson County to 250,000 square feet and increase the number of employees to 150 and the plant’s capacity to¬†150 million pounds.
Riccardo Meucci, Global Commercial Director of SO.F.TER. GROUP, said this was a step of paramount importance for their internationalization strategy. The company already has three plants in Italy, a sales office in Germany, and two more production units in Silao, Mexico and Campo Bom, Brazil.
The new Tennessee plant completes their production network in the Americas, allowing them to pivot towards Asia where SO.F.TER plans to open a plant in India next year and another one in China in 2016.
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said he had enjoyed getting to know the SO.F.TER management, and appreciated their decision to locate in Tennessee. State and local incentives offered for the project add up to nearly $2.5 million.
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto thanked SO.F.TER management and Wilson County Commission members for their support of the project. He added that the company’s decision to locate in Wilson County was a vote of confidence in the county’s workforce.
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead likewise said they were looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with SO.F.TER. U.S., made possible by their partnership with JECDB of Wilson County and the State of Tennessee.
SO.F.TER. U.S. will make its debut in the U.S. plastics market in October at the SPE Automotive Conference in Detroit, Michigan. The new plant is likely to be operational by the end of the year.
The Forti, Italy-based SO.F.TER. Group is one of the world’s largest independent compounders, producing everything from engineering plastics to thermoplastic elastomers and vulcanizates. Last year, the SO.F.TER. Group generated a turnover of $330 million.