Area Development
Bluestar Silicones, a global integrated silicones manufacturer, opened its multi-million dollar, 226,000-square-foot, production plant and research and development center in York, South Carolina.

"The opening of our new manufacturing and R&D facility is a major step forward in the execution of our strategic plan for North America," said J. Christopher York, president of Bluestar Silicones North America. "It is an exciting time for our company and the customers we serve as Bluestar Silicones evolves into a top tier supplier."

The firm's new location, at 7979 Park Place Road in York, offers a sizable footprint to enable Bluestar Silicones to expand manufacturing workshops, enhance laboratory capabilities and provide significant room for growth in existing specialty markets and enter new markets.

The company intends to increase staffing in sales, marketing, and technical service at the York facility. While exact figures were not immediately available, company officials said, overall, employment is projected to increase 35 percent during the next two years, eventually reaching more than 100 workers.

"Our investment in York, S.C., is significant because it takes our business to the next level," said York. "We are planting new roots and building a foundation here that will create business opportunities and position us for future market share growth."

The facility now is the central research and development center for Bluestar Silicones in North America, bringing R&D personnel together under one roof. Its larger manufacturing workshops and laboratory facilities, and new pilot equipment, are expected to improve technical synergies and accelerate product development and support, he said. In addition, the new manufacturing and R&D center will provide enhanced customer service capabilities, resulting in improved efficiencies and faster response times.

"Our sizable footprint in York will give us ample room to expand workshops, supporting existing specialty markets along with entry into new markets," explained York. The company is already a leader in paper release coatings and textile coatings for automotive air bags. Bluestar Silicones seeks to accelerate its penetration of high-growth markets such as healthcare, personal care, and solar energy.

As part of its global expansion plans, the company relocated its two U.S. manufacturing facilities in Ventura, Calif. and Rock Hill, S.C. to York, South Carolina.

South Carolina Economic Development officials offered the firm a variety of tax incentives and a location well-suited for its growth plans. "We are incredibly excited to have Bluestar Silicones merge their facilities in York," said Governor Nikki Haley. "This is a top of the line silicone manufacturer that is going to focus on research and development and raise the bar for South Carolina, not across the country, but across the world."