Bluestar Silicones, a global silicones manufacturer, held a grand opening on June 15 for its new plant and R&D center in York, South Carolina. More than 130 customers, and local, state and federal officials, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, attended the event. The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, plant tours and a reception.
‘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.’
Bluestar Silicones plans to double sales over the next five years. As part of its global expansion plans, the company has relocated its two US manufacturing facilities in Ventura, California, and Rock Hill, South Carolina, to the 226,000 sq ft building which is situated on 21.5 acres.
‘Our investment in York, South Carolina, is significant because it takes our business to the next level,’ said J. Christopher 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 R&D center for Bluestar Silicones in North America, bringing R&D personnel together under one roof. The larger manufacturing workshops and laboratory facilities and new pilot equipment are expected to improve technical synergies and accelerate product development and support. 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.
The company also intends to increase staffing in sales, marketing, and technical service at the York facility. Overall, employment is projected to increase 35 percent during the next two years at the York facility.
Pictured: Governor Nikki Haley speaks with Bluestar Silicones’ employees at the company’s new plant in York, South Carolina. L-r: Facundo Aguilera, Rebecca Holland and Alberto Gonzalez