A South Carolina entrepreneur and longtime plastics industry veteran is planning to build a new shipping hub for plastic resins on 107 acres of undeveloped land in Ladson, S.C., to take advantage of Port Charlestown.
Sea Pac LLC, a company formed by Jon McClure last year, plans to construct a 1.5 million-square-foot complex that is near a rail line, and could be used for exporting pellets.
“The explosion of need for plastic resins and the need for redundancy in the system makes this all work,” McClure said during a telephone interview.
McClure, who sold ISO Poly Films Inc. in Grey Court, S.C., about a year and a half ago, said that the hard part was securing land near a seaport. He said that Sea Pac will begin clearing the land in the next month or two, and put in grading by May of 2016. The first building, which will be between 400,000 and 650,000 square feet, should be ready by the first quarter of 2017.
“The facility will be able to handle up to 600 rail cars,” he said.
The plan is to move resin by rail to the hub and then transfer it to containers for shipment overseas.
McClure said that after he sold ISO Poly Films, he researched the Houston area for business prospects, and after talking with several chemical officials saw the need for a place to export resins.
He said that after 18 months of researching possible sites in Houston and the East Coast, he came to the conclusion that his home state of South Carolina was his best choice. The Port of Charlestown is building a new container terminal that will boost its capacity by 50 percent. The port noted on its website that it is spending $2 billion on the port and on infrastructure over a 10-year period.
McClure said that he worked with officials from the state, county, port authority and railroad to come up with the plan. They also provided incentives to help get it started, but he noted that the business plan had to stand on its own merits to work.
“It's a reason to celebrate anytime a company decides to invest in our people and create jobs in South Carolina. By investing $32 million and creating 50 new jobs in Charleston County, Sea Pac is showing that it is committed to our state and we couldn't be more grateful for the commitment,” said Gov. Nikki Haley in a news release.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce said that the project could create as many as 200 new jobs in the next five years.