Canadian composites maker Innovative Composites International Inc. will spend $9.3 million to open a production site making composite housing in Columbia, S.C.
Toronto-based ICI will occupy a currently vacant plant there in a project that will create 300 new jobs during the next five years, officials said in a Sept. 6 news release.
“South Carolina has provided us with an excellent location for our new operations,” Bryce Clark, ICI manufacturing vice president, said in the release.
The plant will do business as EcoScapes Composites LLC.
Houses made at the site will be 880-square-foot structures made from composite plastic panels. The houses can provide portable — as well as permanent — fast-deployment solutions for disaster-relief situations, troop and command shelters and other housing needs.
The state will provide training funds, as well as job-development credits, if hiring targets are met. Hiring for the new positions is scheduled to begin early next year.
Officials pointed out that in 2011, Canada was the top export destination for products made in South Carolina.
“South Carolina continues to be a magnet for international investment, with Canada leading the way as our No. 1 trading partner,” said Jim Apple, chairman of the Central SC Alliance trade group.
ICI was founded in 2007 by Terry Ball and Fraser Wray, both of whom were former executives with auto supplier Magna International Inc. The firm operates a composites production site in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., as well as an injection molding site in Spring Lake, Mich.