Columbia, South Carolina
February 9, 2011 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Dorchester
County, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, and the South Carolina
State Ports Authority today joined Showa Denko Carbon Inc., a principal
supplier of graphite products to the global steel industry, in announcing the
company’s plans to significantly expand its Dorchester County operations. The investment
is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and will result in the
creation of approximately 100 new jobs.
Showa Denko Carbon, Inc. (SDKC) started operations in
1983 and was acquired by Showa Denko KK in 1988. "We operate quietly in rural Dorchester
County, but our impact has been significant in the U.S. electric furnace steel
industry and around the world. Because
our business has been successful and we see growing demand for high quality
graphite electrodes, we have decided to expand within the overall framework of
SDK’s new medium term business plan – PEGASUS. We believe this decision will be good for our customers and the community. Many thanks to Dorchester County, Charleston
Regional Development Alliance, Santee Cooper and the state of South Carolina
for their assistance in helping us to bring this competitive project to South
Carolina," said Robert C. Whitten, president and CEO, Showa Denko Carbon Inc.
Showa Denko Carbon will expand its current operations
in Dorchester County where the company produces premium graphite electrodes and
granular graphite used by the steel and automotive supplier industries, respectively.
The company expects the expansion will be completed by mid-2013.
"We congratulate Showa Denko on today’s announcement
and look forward to the company’s increased presence in our state. Improving
South Carolina’s business climate is a top priority for this administration. By
lowering taxes and regulatory burdens for companies, both large and small, we
can expect to attract more investments, like this one, that create jobs for
South Carolinians," said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Showa Denko Carbon has operated the plant in
Dorchester County since 1988 and supplies approximately 40 percent of the
nation’s large diameter, ultra high power graphite electrodes from the
Ridgeville facility. The company’s synthetic graphite is used primarily
for electric arc furnace steelmaking, but also automotive friction materials.
Additionally, the company prides itself on supporting the recycling industry.
Showa Denko’s graphite electrodes help its customers melt scrap metal into new
"Showa Denko has been a
great asset to our county," said Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry
Hargett. "We congratulate and thank Showa Denko on its new investment. This type of commitment demonstrates their confidence in Dorchester County and
the Charleston Region."
"Showa Denko is a highly respected name in
manufacturing with a strong community presence," said Jim Newsome, president
& CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. "The Port of Charleston is proud to handle
Showa Denko’s international shipping needs."
"Showa Denko has been a valued customer of ours since
1983," said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and CEO. "Santee Cooper is
pleased to have worked with Bob Whitten and his team as they developed this
plan to grow and bring new jobs to the Lowcountry, and we look forward to
serving their expanded electrical needs."
"Showa Denko’s decision to
expand in our market sends a powerful message to industry leaders worldwide,"
said CRDA Board Chairman Sean Bennett. "It’s especially exciting when a global
company with such deep roots in our region is not only successful but also sees
future growth opportunities here."
The company’s Ridgeville operations currently employ
more than 220 people. The company anticipates it will begin hiring by 2012. Next year, individuals interested in job
opportunities are encouraged to contact the Summerville Workforce Center.
About Showa Denko Carbon Inc.
Showa Denko Carbon, Inc. operates a fully-integrated
graphite manufacturing plant near Ridgeville, South Carolina. The company
is part of the Inorganics Sector of Japan-based Showa Denko KK, one of
Japan’s leading chemical companies operating in five major segments including
petrochemicals, chemicals, electronics, inorganics and aluminum. Along with its
sister plant in Omachi, Japan, Showa Denko Carbon, Inc. is a principal supplier
of graphite electrodes to the global electric arc furnace steel industry. For
more information about the company, please visit www.sdkc.com.
Department of Commerce
The S.C. Department of Commerce works closely with economic development
professionals throughout the state to recruit new jobs and investments and help
existing businesses grow. Commerce has been recognized for its success in the
areas of job creation and economic impact by Area Development and Business
Facilities magazines. The S.C. Department of Commerce was one of 10 state
economic development organizations to receive Area Development’s Silver Shovel
Award in 2009 and Commerce received the 2009 Deal of the Year award from
Business Facilities magazine. Southern Business & Development also awarded
the S.C. Department of Commerce the "Deal of the Year" for the 2010 SB&D
100. Commerce received the recognitions for Boeing’s selection of North
Charleston for the company’s second final assembly plant to support the 787
Dreamliner program. In addition to job and investment recruitment, the agency
provides a range of business support services and offers grants for community
development and infrastructure improvements. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.