AGFA Materials Corporation receives Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award

Agfa Materials Corporation at Bushy Park, SC was recently selected by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) to receive their Excellence in Corporate Responsibility award.  At a ceremony held on May 3, 2012, Agfa joined The Boeing Company, BMW Manufacturing Co., Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation, Nucor Steel, Daimler Vans Manufacturing, Robert Bosch LLC, and 20 other manufacturing facilities in South Carolina as award recipients.   The award criteria challenge the organization’s commitment to employee safety and wellness, to the reduction of any environmental impact, and community involvement.  

The following press release was prepared to announce Agfa Materials’ selection:

The Agfa-Gevaert Group has a facility located in Goose Creek, South Carolina.  The Agfa Materials Corporation plant produces medical imaging film and x-ray film for non-destructive testing.

During its long history, the company has never forgotten about its corporate responsibility.   In the last five years, Agfa Materials’ employee teams participated in the Low Country’s “Day of Caring”.  At the events, Agfa teams volunteered in helping organizations such as The Pink House, Carolina Youth Development Center, and the Tri-County Behavioral Health Center with painting, construction and landscaping projects.  Agfa continues to support the Callen-Lacy Center for Children with employee volunteers providing holiday parties and dinner for the children.  

The Agfa plant has also been working over the last five years on reducing the waste stream as well as reducing the energy that is consumed in the film making operation.  They always purchase supplies with high recycled material content. 

Furthermore, Agfa makes employee health and safety a priority.  They hold annual health fairs and screenings where employees can find out information about body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure levels and other health risk factors in the plant population.

Agfa Materials has gone five years and five months without a recordable injury and over 10 years without a lost time injury.

May 16th, 2012   |  Posted in: Press Release

Charleston International Manufacturing Center Poised for Growth

MCDERMOTT COLUMN: Manufacturing bet pays dividends



An example of the type of high-voltage cable Nexans will make at its new Bushy Park plant.
Photo by Nexans – An example of the type of high-voltage cable Nexans will make at its new Bushy Park plant. 





Marc Fetten couldn’t be there last week to bask in the glory. To exhale. To finally talk publicly about his company’s first big score with high-voltage cable manufacturer Nexans.Instead, he was thousands of miles away on business, seeking to leverage the deal and stoke the momentum.

Fetten is president and CEO of Cooper River Partners LLC, the latest owner of one of the region’s oldest industrial subdivisions: Bushy Park.

He’s also is a die-hard believer in U.S. manufacturing and the good-paying, skilled jobs it creates.

He and his investment group demonstrated as much in 2009, when they ponied up $10 million to buy the remaining 400 acres of undeveloped high land at Bushy Park near Goose Creek.

It was quite a contrarian gambit at the time. Or opportunistic.

In any case, Cooper River Part-ners was writing a big check when industries of all stripes were still reeling from the global financial meltdown.

Fetten justified the investment with a bold, if slightly premature, prediction.

“I believe we’ll see a resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S., and we can play a role in that by minimizing a new company’s investment when they come here,” he told The Post and Courier shortly after the Bushy Park purchase.


After a few white-knuckle years, the nation’s manufacturing machine is indeed starting to rattle and hum again. The Boeing 787 plant in North Charleston is far and away the most prominent local example.

Another is the deal Fetten’s group nailed down with Nexans. The global cable manufacturer plans to invest $85 million and build a 200-worker plant in what is now called Charleston International Manufacturing Center. It expects to be making high-voltage electricity and telecommunication lines in 2014.

Fetten stands by his 2009 forecast.

“Manufacturing is coming back to the U.S. … We’re heading into an industrial renaissance,” the Daniel Island resident said last week from Germany. “I absolutely believe that.”

The Nexans deal could turn out to be more than meets the eye if Fetten’s instincts are right. In one sense, it already is.

The company’s 300,000-square-foot factory plans call for a 400-foot-tall cable-stringing tower that required an air-clearance permit from the Federal Aviation Administration. The soaring structure will be visible from the Ravenel Bridge on a clear day.

“How often do you see that?” Fetten asked.

Beyond the physical dimensions, he sees tie-ins between the Nexans plant and existing industry. For instance, the maritime business could see a boost from the cargo vessels that will cruise up and down the Cooper River picking up cable shipments from the company’s wharf.

A less certain but seemingly natural connection is with Clemson University’s wind-turbine testing center being built on the old Navy base in North Charleston. Fetten pointed out that the local Nexans factory eventually plans to make submergible cables that link offshore power generators with the mainland grid.

“It basically feeds right into what Clemson is working on seven miles down the river,” he said. “It’s really nice to see this come together.”

Pioneering property

The Nexans deal wasn’t a slam dunk. Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia all sought to win the investment and jobs. The local work force, government incentives and the site itself eventually put South Carolina ahead of the pack.

It’s fitting that French-owned Nexans ended up at Bushy Park, home to numerous global manufacturers over the years.

The Berkeley County property was on the leading edge of smokestack chasing in South Carolina when it was conceived as a huge hard-core business campus in the 1940s. Originally measuring more than 4,000 acres, it was promoted to big manufacturers that needed access to abundant fresh water.

South Carolina Electric & Gas acquired Bushy Park in the mid-1960s and later built its Williams Generating Station on the tract. Parcels were later sold off in bits and pieces.

Previous tenants have included Bayer and General Dynamics. Current occupants include DuPont and Jacobs Engineering. Another is Lanxess Corp., which sold the last of the undeveloped land to Cooper River Partners.

Fetten has said his group was smitten by the rail and water access, not to mention the steam, nitrogen and other industrial utilities that were already in place.

It all goes into the pitch Fetten has been making in Germany, Europe’s strongest economy and one of South Carolina’s largest overseas trading partner.

“I had a good meeting with a prospect yesterday and have another one Monday,” he said Thursday. “Hopefully, we can talk about them soon as well.”


April 9th, 2012   |  Posted in: Press Release


South Carolina Department of Commerce

$85 million investment expected to create 200 new jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. – March 21, 2012 – Nexans, a worldwide leader in the cable industry, announced today that its new high voltage power cable manufacturing plant will be located in Berkeley County. The $85 million investment is expected to create up to 200 new jobs.

“Establishing our Berkeley plant is a key strategic development that will enable Nexans to capitalize on the ever growing demand for high-quality high-voltage cables designed and manufactured to meet the specific needs of the major power transmission infrastructure projects in North America and worldwide in the coming years,” said Dirk Steinbrink, vice president in charge of Nexans’ High Voltage and Submarine Business Group.

Nexans will use the facility to manufacture high-voltage power cables, with a possible future extension to submarine cable production. The company expects plant operations to begin in 2014.

“It’s exciting to see an international company like Nexans choose to locate new operations in Berkeley County. We celebrate the company’s $85 million investment and the creation of 200 new jobs. More and more companies around the globe are learning that South Carolina is the place to do business,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

In 2011, South Carolina recruited more than $4.7 billion in investment and more than 13,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“Nexans is a world class company and we’re grateful they’ve chosen South Carolina to help them make world class cables. Announcements like this one continue to build momentum for our state’s manufacturing renaissance,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

The facility will be built on a new site at the Charleston International Manufacturing Center in Berkeley County. In its initial phase, the plant will focus on the manufacture of underground land cables from 69 kilovolts up to extra high voltage cables of 420 kilovolts.

“We in Berkeley County are extremely pleased to welcome Nexans into our family of national and international corporations,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis. “The significant investment of capital and jobs represented by this project continues to emphasize the quality of place as well as the depth and dedication of our workforce in attracting world-class companies to our community.”

The Berkeley plant will reinforce Nexans’ current product range in North America, adding to the existing medium-voltage, low-voltage, overhead transmission, industrial, building wire, electrical wire and LAN portfolios. In 2011, North America represented more than 11 percent of the company’s total sales, with over 1,300 people employed in seven production facilities – four in the U.S. and three in Canada.

“We are excited to welcome Nexans to the Charleston region, adding their expertise to a growing base of global manufacturing companies,” said R.M. Singletary, Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board chairman. “The Port of Charleston, Charleston International Manufacturing Center and our ready supply of highly-skilled workers were critical factors in Nexans’ decision to locate here. They will be an invaluable asset to our region.”

The company will begin construction in 2012 and expects hiring to begin in late 2013. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should visit the Careers at Nexans page at

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a rural infrastructure grant worth $1.6 million for the county to help with site preparation and infrastructure improvements. Job development credits will also be available when hiring targets are met. readySC will provide training for potential workers.

About Nexans
With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry, building and Local Area Network markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments: from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear power, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, material handling and automation.

Nexans is a responsible industrial company that regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee development and engagement, and the introduction of safe industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future.

With an industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 24,500 people and had sales in 2011 of 7 billion euros. Nexans is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A.

For more information, please consult: or

March 21st, 2012   |  Posted in: Press Release

Berkely County Business Leader Honored by Dept. of Commerce and Legislative Leaders

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kara Borie, S.C. Dept. of Commerce, 803.737.1998

COLUMBIA, S.C. – January 26, 2011
Marc Fetten was honored yesterday as an Ambassador for Economic Development by the Department of Commerce and legislative leaders as part of South Carolina’s 20th Annual Industry Appreciation Week. The ceremony took place in Columbia on Tuesday, January 25 at the Statehouse and highlighted 47 individuals from 46 counties for their exceptional efforts to bolster community and economic development activities in South Carolina.

“Secretary Hitt and I have one very clear focus . to make our state the best and most competitive in the country for business development. ‘Can’t’ isn’t an option for us. But we can’t do it alone. We need partners across South Carolina to grow the businesses we have, recruit new ones and help put our people back to work, and that’s what today is all about,”said Gov. Nikki Haley. Read More

January 26th, 2011   |  Posted in: Press Release