Swiss Krono Group announces a $230 million expansion in Barnwell County

Company’s investment to create 105 new jobs in Barnwell, S.C.

December 22, 2015

Swiss Krono Group, one of the world’s leading producers of engineered wood products, and its American subsidiary, KronotexUSA Holdings, Inc., have announced the expansion of their manufacturing operations in Barnwell County. The company is investing $230 million to build a high- density fiberboard (HDF) mill and expand its laminate flooring production, creating 105 new jobs over the next few years.

“We’ve been very happy with the quality of the workforce talent here in South Carolina,” said Norm Voss, former CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Kronotex USA Holdings, Inc. “We’re delighted to be able to employ more Americans here in Barnwell and grow our exceptional relationship with the local people, businesses and government.”

“South Carolina has been a great investment partner for European countries. We appreciate the collaborative efforts of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and our many partners, including Barnwell County governmental agencies. Their patience, perseverance and continuous support have been and will continue to be instrumental in the future success of our South Carolina operations,” said Max Von Tippelskirch, a member of the Swiss Krono Group Management Board.

“To have a great international company like Swiss Krono Group continue to grow, succeed and invest in our state proves that the Team South Carolina approach to economic development is working. This

$230 million investment, and the 105 new jobs it will create, is a real reason to celebrate, and we look forward to seeing the impact that this company will continue to have across our state,” remarked S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

Barnwell County Council Chairman David Kenner added, “Kronotex continues to be a leader in their industry and a pillar of our local economy. We will continue to create the best business environment to encourage job growth and investment for companies like Kronotex USA, and we look forward to their expansion.”

“Kronotex USA has provided hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in our area over the last decade. We congratulate Kronotex on their phenomenal growth at the Barnwell facility. This announcement is a great way to end the year and to kick-off 2016 for our region,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips.

According to Barnwell County EDC Chairman Tommy Boyleston, “Barnwell County appreciates Kronotex's investment in our workforce and the impact the company has had on our community. These new jobs are welcome news for the families of Barnwell County.”

Headquartered in Switzerland, Swiss Krono Group’s origins can be traced back to 1966. Today, with facilities in France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States, the company employs more than 4,500 workers worldwide.

The announced expansion will allow KronotexUSA to produce 300,000 cubic-meters of HDF per year, which the company will use for laminate flooring manufacturing operations and sell to furniture, cabinet, fixture, door and other wood-based manufacturers. In total, the project will increase the company’s annual laminate flooring capacity by an additional 8 million square-meters.

“Today’s announcement is yet another big victory for our state’s robust manufacturing industry. I’m excited by all of the success Kronotex has achieved in South Carolina and look forward to watching them continue to thrive in the years to come,” commented S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt.

“With this announcement, Kronotex has expressed continued confidence in South Carolina’s business environment, its forest resource, and its many landowners who actively and sustainably manage their woodlands. This expansion will add to forestry’s almost $19 billion annual economic impact and strengthen its number one rank in terms of manufacturing jobs and labor income,” said S.C. State Forester Gene Kodama.

Preliminary engineering has been completed and construction is expected to start by mid-2016, with HDF operations to begin by the summer of 2018. Once completed, this expansion will increase KronotexUSA’s Barnwell County’s workforce to 275 employees. Those interested in applying for one of the new positions should visit the company’s careers page online.

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