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Company announces $1 billion investment in SC plant

COLUMBIA (AP) — Toray Industries plans to invest $1 billion and hire 500 people over the next decade in Spartanburg County.

South Carolina officials announced Tuesday that the Tokyo-based manufacturer plans to build on 400 acres in Moore. The planned investment is among the largest in South Carolina’s history.

The plant will make high-performance carbon fiber for the aerospace industry. Toray is among the world’s largest producers of carbon fiber.

Toray Industries president Akihiro Nikkaku says the property, accessible to Interstates 26 and 85, is close to its U.S. and Latin American customers. The company announced the plans to its board Monday.

The aerospace industry is growing in South Carolina. According to the Department of Commerce, more than 200 aerospace companies employ 20,000 people in the state.

Gov. Nikki Haley called the Toray’s decision a “real game-changer for the Upstate and all of South Carolina.”

The state approved $10 million in up-front grants for the project — $7 million toward buying the land and $3 million for infrastructure improvement on it. Toray will also receive tax breaks that would kick in after the state certifies the company has met its jobs and investment targets.

The largest initial investment in South Carolina was heralded in fall 2011, when Bridgestone Americas announced it would spend $1.2 billion total on two projects in Aiken County by 2020.

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