Alternative Energy & Fuels

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KEMET to Expand Greenville County Operations and Create 113 New Jobs

20 Dec, 2009


Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Greenville Area Development Corporation announced that KEMET will expand its facility in Greenville County to support manufacturing of capacitors for electric drive vehicles and alternative energy markets. The investment is expected to generate 113 new jobs within the next three years.

“We are pleased to expand our operations in South Carolina.  This investment will allow us to meet growing demand from our customers in the U.S., especially in the electric drive vehicle industry. Our Simpsonville facility has been an important part of our production capabilities over the years and South Carolina has always provided KEMET with an excellent business environment and a highly-skilled workforce. We appreciate the support we have received from state and local officials, and South Carolina’s congressional delegation who helped make this expansion a reality,” said Per-Olof Loof, chief executive officer and director, KEMET.

KEMET will expand its facility in Simpsonville to manufacture a new line of capacitors, which are an important component in electric drive vehicles and will be marketed to the alternative energy industry. KEMET recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to add additional capacitor lines to its South Carolina plant in order to produce enough capacitors to make 100,000 electric drive vehicles.  The company anticipates that the expansion will be completed and the new production capacity online within nine months.

“This new production line in Greenville County represents another dividend from our continued efforts to improve business soil conditions in South Carolina. Given the global competition for new jobs, capital investment and indeed quality of life, both KEMET's technological advances in components for electric drive vehicles and alternative energy production and their decision to expand in South Carolina reflect positively on our state’s workforce, the Department of Commerce, local leaders, and in fact all of our commitments to creating a more business-friendly environment that will encourage further economic growth and job-creation going forward,” said Gov. Mark Sanford.

“KEMET’s expansion of its Simpsonville facility is an affirmation of the company’s commitment to South Carolina. KEMET could have taken this new line anywhere in the world and the fact that they chose to grow here is again a reminder that our state’s business-friendly climate, skilled workforce and exceptional market access are working to attract new investment and new jobs for South Carolinians. We congratulate KEMET on their success and look forward to a continued and mutually beneficial relationship with them in the years ahead,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.

KEMET is currently producing the capacitor lines in Europe. However, having the lines produced in South Carolina will allow the company to easily reach their domestic customers.  The expansion will also increase the available capacity in the U.S. for capacitors and therein reduce the supply chain risk electric drive vehicle manufacturers face by having to depend on non-U.S. suppliers for this key subcomponent.

“Today is an exciting day for the people of Greenville County.  KEMET’s expansion will create much needed jobs for our skilled workforce.  Today’s announcement also once again shows the potential South Carolina has to lead in the new clean energy environment.  I am very proud of the work KEMET is doing in South Carolina and look forward to growing this relationship in the years ahead,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.

“KEMET is another proof that the Upstate will lead the nation out of this recession. New energy jobs prove that the road to recovery and the road to energy independence are one and the same,” said Congressman Bob Inglis.

In addition to being able to supply capacitors for the current and future electric drive vehicle programs in the U.S., KEMET’s expansion in Greenville County will also allow the company to begin supplying the same components to wind, tidal, geothermal and solar energy generation markets.

“As an international company and long-standing member of our business community, KEMET’s decision to expand its Greenville County presence to make capacitors for electric vehicles and alternative energy markets is great news,” noted H.G. “Butch” Kirven Jr., chairman of Greenville County Council. “Their expansion here affirms that our focus on advanced manufacturing and automotive suppliers is bearing fruit, and should serve as a magnet to attract talented individuals while adding good paying jobs in our community.”

“KEMET is a progressive company that combines world-class technology and unique engineering processes with an Upstate location to grow their business,” said Mike Buiter, chairman of the Greenville Area Development Corporation Board. “The company is research-based, innovative and growth-oriented, and a wonderful reflection of the opportunities to be found in Greenville County.”

The company will make a formal announcement when it is ready to begin the hiring process. Individuals interested in employment opportunities are encouraged wait until KEMET releases details regarding the availability of new positions.

KEMET Corporation applies world-class service and quality to deliver industry-leading, high-performance capacitance solutions to its customers around the world. KEMET offers the world’s most complete line of surface-mount and through-hole capacitor technologies across tantalum, ceramic, film, aluminum and paper dielectrics. KEMET has operated its facility in the Upstate of South Carolina for 46 years.  For more information about KEMET, please visit www.kemet.com.

About S.C. 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 magazine and Southern Business and Development magazine. 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 ranked number two in the South in points per million residents by Southern Business and Development for the state’s 2008 job recruitment efforts.  In addition to job and investment recruitment, the agency provides a range of business support services, offers grants for community development and infrastructure improvements, and provides tools to enhance workforce skills. For more information, visit www.SCcommerce.com.

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