Spanning multiple states, representing billions in investments and thousands of jobs, the month of May was full of new facility and expansion announcements, representing a diverse set of industries, from lithium refining and herbal supplements to steel and plywood.
Let’s explore some of the most exciting new manufacturing operations announced in May 2023.
First up, Tesla, the world’s largest electric vehicle maker, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its lithium refinery near Corpus Christi, Texas on May 8, 2023. The refinery will produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide for Tesla's vehicles and battery products. The project will cost more than $1 billion and will create about 165 full-time jobs and 250 construction jobs. The refinery will use an innovative and sustainable process that eliminates hazardous reagents and byproducts. The facility will have a capacity to produce enough lithium for 1 million vehicles per year and will surpass the rest of North America's refinery output combined. The refinery is expected to be completed by 2025.
Said Tesla CEO Elon Musk, "This investment is critical to our mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy and represents our efforts to aggressively increase the supply of battery-grade lithium hydroxide available in North America," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
FN America, LLC, a global firearms manufacturer and a subsidiary of FN Herstal, S.A., announced plans to expand its South Carolina footprint with a new production facility in Pickens County. The company’s $33 million investment will create approximately 176 new jobs. The new facility will be constructed over two phases and will accommodate FN America’s expanding manufacturing operations. The company is a valued partner to the U.S. Department of Defense, developing and manufacturing small firearms for the U.S. military. The company plans to break ground for the Pickens County facility in 2024 with an estimated completion date in 2025.
Said FN America, LLC President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Cherpes, “FN America has experienced significant growth over the last several years and demand for our products continues to increase in all market segments that we serve. Our new facility in Liberty, South Carolina will allow us to expand our manufacturing capabilities and grow our highly skilled workforce to meet that new demand. We are proud to partner with Pickens County and the state of South Carolina on this expansion.”
India-based Vidya Herbs, a leading herbal extracts manufacturer, has inaugurated its new manufacturing plant in Bunnell, Florida. The facility is set to create 100 jobs while catering to the production of a diverse range of extracts.
On May 11, 2023, Rehrig Pacific, a company that produces sustainable solutions for the supply chain and environmental waste sectors, celebrated the start of construction for its new plant in Buckeye, Arizona. The first phase of the project includes a 260,000-square-foot facility, with room for incremental growth of up to 500,000-square-feet. The new facility will support Rehrig Pacific's expanding manufacturing operations and customer base.
“The investment in a new facility with plenty of room for growth supports Rehrig Pacific’s Mission and Values,” said Will Rehrig, CEO of Rehrig Pacific. “It was essential that we chose a location that worked well for both our current and future customers and one that supported our team members. We found incredible partners in Buckeye that helped make this buildout a reality, as well as phenomenal support from state officials and local development. We look forward to growing our Rehrig Pacific Family in Buckeye.”
Galaxy Wire & Cable, Inc announced the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Horsham PA, which doubled the production area and increased the office and meeting space. The expansion was motivated by the growing demand for the company's products and services, such as custom cable assemblies, electronic wire harnesses, box builds, and coaxial/RF jumpers.
Galaxy CEO Eric Lutz commented, “The increase in demand for our products and services motivated us to increase our capacity and be able to serve our customers better. This significant investment solidifies our future and allows us to meet this strong demand.”
A new steel mill is coming to Aliquippa, Pennsylvania where the former J&L Steel tin mill used to be. 72 Steel LLC, a company based in Brooklyn, New York, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. The company will invest $218 million to build a state-of-the-art facility that will produce rebar and other high-end steel products using environmental protection technology.
The project will create over 300 full-time jobs and hundreds of construction jobs. The mill will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons of steel. The company chose Pittsburgh as the location for its first manufacturing plant because of its history and reputation as the steel capital of the U.S. The mill is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Pharmavite, a company that makes vitamins and supplements under various brands, has started building a new 225,000 square-foot facility in New Albany, Ohio. The facility will cost $200 million and will create 225 new jobs. It will produce gummies and other products using a sustainable process. The facility will also be the site of Pharmavite’s Gummy Innovation Center of Excellence. The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
Hood Industries, a company that manufactures and distributes wood products, is building a new plywood facility in Beaumont, Mississippi. The facility will cost over $200 million and will create 265 new jobs. It will replace the previous facility that was destroyed by a tornado in 2022. It will produce laminated plywood panels using a modern and environmentally friendly process. The facility will start construction this summer and will begin manufacturing in early 2025.
"The mill has been one of the cornerstones of our company because of the support received from the community of Beaumont, Perry County and surrounding areas and the hard work of our excellent employees. We are excited to be able to rebuild the facility into one of the most modern plywood plants in North America." -Warren Hood, Owner and CEO, Hood Companies¹
Weidmüller USA, a company that provides smart industrial connectivity products and solutions, has started building a new facility in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The facility will cost $16.4 million and will create more than 100 new jobs. It will include engineering, production, and warehouse space for the company's current Southlake location. The facility will support the growth of Weidmüller's portfolio of electrical connectivity and software-driven automation solutions for various industries. The facility will begin construction this summer and will start operating in early 2025.
“Weidmüller is known as a pioneer of Smart Industrial Connectivity and this pioneering spirit continues to blossom in Richmond,” said Bernd Schröder, President of Weidmüller USA. “We look forward to manufacturing automation solutions with local engineering and production talent and together, shape the way to digitalization.”
Terran Orbital Corporation, a company that provides satellite-based solutions for the aerospace and defense industries, has started building a new facility in Irvine, California. It will include engineering, production, and warehouse space for the company's current Southlake location. The facility will support the growth of Terran Orbital's portfolio of electrical connectivity and software-driven automation solutions for various industries. The facility will begin construction this summer and will start operating in early 2025.
"Terran Orbital is thrilled to break ground on 4 Goodyear. The new facility will propel Terran Orbital to new heights. We are currently working on 30 programs and over 375 satellites, including initial constellation orders for SDA, Rivada, and a new constellation customer announced on May 15. We also look forward to the capacity increase the new facility will create as we continue to onboard contracts and satellite orders. W. P. Carey has been a joy to work with and we look forward to developing this new facility together,” said Marc Bell, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, of Terran Orbital
Kent Pet Group, a company that makes high-performance and sustainable litter products, has started building a new manufacturing plant in Muscatine, Iowa. The plant will create about 30 new jobs. It will be located on 70 acres and will have 113,000 square feet of space for engineering, production, and warehouse. It will produce corn-based cat litter under the World’s Best Cat Litter brand, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The plant will use advanced technology and equipment to produce high-quality and eco-friendly products. The plant is expected to be completed in mid-2025.
“Our corn-based cat litter is in high demand. Expanding our footprint will allow us to continue to enable the love and boundless joy of pets through innovative products and brands around the world,“ said Steve Gordon, President of Kent Pet Group
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