A Chinese recycling company plans to build its first American plant in Orangeburg.
Ecomelida Inc., a subsidiary of Zhangzhou Sanlida Environmental Technology Corporation, sgned a memorandum of understanding with county and state officials in a Thursday ceremony, pledging to invest at least $2 million and create 200 new jobs the next five years in exchange for tax incentives.
The company will use a unique process to separate pulp, plastic and aluminum from soft drink cartons and other products for use in other materials.
“They can recycle juice boxes,” Orangeburg County Development Commission director Greg Robinson said. “Take it back to the original PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and then repurpose that PET into wire coatings. Think coat hangers and other types of secondary markets for plastic.”
Ecomelida will move into a former Federal Mogul brake pad factory. However, Robinson said the company plans to eventually add 500,000 square feet. The state Rural Infrastructure Authority is providing a $750,000 grant to help with work. The county has also agreed to a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement.
“Today marks another chapter for our company as we invest in this new Orangeburg County plant,” Ecomelida, Inc. Madam Chairman Xi Cheng said in a statement. “We are thankful for the assistance we have received from the state and county governments and look forward to years of continued success.”
Ecomelida hopes to be operational at the site by late fall.