Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co., of Charlotte, N.C., has targeted Sumter County, Fla., near Wildwood, for a new PVC pipe plant.
Charles Cobb, senior vice president of the Charlotte Pipe plastics division, declined to comment on the company's plans to build. ``We're not ready to talk about it just yet,'' he said in a Dec. 29 telephone interview.
Chuck Lewis, executive director of the Sumter County Development Council, said construction on the $6 million, 75,000- to 85,000-square-foot facility in the Coniglio Industrial Park will begin shortly after the new year, with a formal groundbreaking ceremony set for Jan. 25.
Lewis said Charlotte Pipe officials chose Sumter County to be closer to the growing Florida market, which the firm has been serving through its Atlanta operations.
``They decided they were just shipping a lot of air,'' Lewis said, adding that Sumter County is ``in the geographic center of the state ... [and] is ideally situated for manufacturing plants or distribution centers.''
The plant should be operational by the end of 1999 and is expected to provide about 35 jobs to the county, Lewis said.
Charlotte Pipe ranked No. 22 among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders in Plastics News 1998 survey, with an estimated $120 million in sales. The company produces PVC and ABS pipe for the plumbing and municipal water and sewer markets, as well as cast-iron soil pipe and fittings. It operates three other plants in the United States with an estimated 40 extrusion lines.