I find it interesting to watch the Keer plant in Indian Land being built. It is scheduled to be finished by December.
After this first plant is up and running, a second phase will be constructed.
I drive by there at least once a day, so I am anxious to see what’s next. I understand the landscaping will be a work of art.
In England, in the early 1700s, during the height of the British empire, it was against the law to either import or manufacture cloth from cotton. These laws were enacted to protect the powerful English sheep and wool industry at that time. Archaeologists and scientists say that shreds of cloth or written reference to cotton date back at least 7,000 years.
Never miss a local story.
The cheaper price of cotton in the United States was one of the major drawing points for the Chinese-owned Keer Company to move here. Chinese cotton is priced at $2,889 per ton, American cotton is $2,006 per ton. These prices quoted are from the August market.
Keer will consume 30,000 tons a year to reach an annual yarn production of about 28,000 thousand tons, the company said.
There is more than the price of cotton at work here. The cost of Chinese manufacturing has been rising in the past few years. Keer’s assets exceeded $322 million in 2010 and the company looked to the Carolinas after ruling out Vietnam, India and Pakistan as a solution to keeping profits high. One other reason for relocating is a cheap and stable supply of electricity.
SC Ready, an employee training program in South Carolina, is helping Keer recruit and train its local workforce. So far, one third of the program’s applicants are former textile workers who want to go back to the industry. If you are interested go to readysc.org/keer.