But neither of those obstacles kept them from working together and helping an Anderson County company from expanding, Cooper said during an announcement at the Anderson Civic Center Friday about First Quality’s massive investment in the Starr/Iva area of Anderson County.
“Although we fuss and fight in Anderson County, when it comes to something good for the benefit of this county … we pulled together for this project,” Cooper said.
New York-based First Quality Tissue plans to invest about $1 billion in the county and add about 1,000 jobs over the next 10-15 years — a move that officials referred to as welcome news during these tough economic times. First Quality manufactures tissues and towels, and officials are referring to it as a “green company with a low-carbon footprint.”
Officials say that First Quality’s manufacturing facility in Anderson will use a Thru-Air-Dried technology and complete line of converting equipment.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said the investment was a “real compliment” to the people of Anderson County and to South Carolina.
“It is the largest investment in the history of Anderson County, and it is the largest single investment in the state of South Carolina since the original BMW investment,” Sanford said.
First Quality company representative Frank Ludoniva had high praise for South Carolina and to Anderson County.
“Among the factors that attracted First Quality to Anderson are the pool of skilled labor, positive work ethic and the availability of the infrastructure necessary to sustain our facility.”
Ludoniva added that Anderson County provided a “pro-business environment” for First Quality Tissue.
“How could anybody not be excited in $1 billion in investment and $1,000 jobs?” Anderson County Councilman Eddie Moore said. “That’s what I call economic development. … This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Forgive me for sounding a bit excited, but hey, this project is in my district.”
Anderson County Interim Administrator commended Duke Energy, saying that low utility costs in the area helped bring the company to Anderson County.
First Quality has about 3,500 employees in their facilities worldwide. It provides academic loans through local educational institutions, and it supports local charities such as United Way.
The project in Anderson County will use about 960,000 gallons of water per day, and about 345 million gallons per year. A new water line will be built to use Anderson Joint Regional Water System’s existing permitted capacity.