By Valencia Wicker
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) – Berkeley County can now tag itself the home of one of the world’s leading cable manufacturers. The company, called Nexans, will invest $85 million to open a facility at Charleston International Manufacturing Center and create 200 jobs.
“I think more than anything else, after a long spell of inactivity in industrial expansion, hopefully this signals the beginning of kind of a new day,” said Dan Davis, Berkeley County supervisor.
Wednesday, Governor Nikki Haley along with state and county officials held a press conference to announce the company’s arrival. Nexans is an international high voltage cable manufacturer based in France.
“The reason we picked Charleston was access to a good work force, the navigable Cooper River, because with a high voltage plant there’s land high voltage but, there’s also sub-sea high voltage cables,” said Stephen E. Hall, president of Nexans Americas. “And, for sub-sea high voltage cables you need to load long lengths of cable directly on to a ship.”
“It’s just another industry that South Carolina is picking up,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “Not only do we build cars, planes and tires but, now we can say that we’re in the high voltage cable industry.”
The announcement will speak volumes to the folks of Berkeley County who are in dire need of jobs.
“Everybody’s in need of new jobs. The unemployment rates are still higher than what we would like to have them. So, 200 jobs, that’s the long term benefit but, construction helps the unemployment figures in the short-term,” said Davis.
Davis says the move will put Berkeley County on the map as “the place to be” when it comes to manufacturing jobs.
“This is a company that when you invest 85 million you are here to stay,” said governor Haley. “Our job is that they expand quickly and they continue to grow.”
The plant should be fully operational by 2014.