PBI in Rock Hill to expand and create 19 local jobs

PBI Performance Products is planning a $15 million expansion of its Rock Hill manufacturing facility to meet the growing demand for its fire resistant fiber and to develop new technology using its high performance plastic polymer.

The expansion will include new fiber spinning technology and facilities to develop new polymer applications. The company will add 25,000 square feet to the existing 50,000-square-foot building on South Cherry Road near the former Celanese plant.

The engineering design phase will begin in January and groundbreaking is expected in the spring of 2010.

The expansion is projected to create 19 new jobs, with 10 jobs being added next year, said president Grant Reeves. This is the facility's first major expansion since it was formed in 1983.

"We were pleased with the local and state support that provided the incentives to keep this strategic investment in Rock Hill," said Scott Groshans, vice president of operations.

The Rock Hill site is the world's only manufacturer of the fiber and polymer made from polybenzimidazole and currently employs 60 people.

The fiber will not burn in air, does not melt or drip and retains its strength and flexibility after exposure to flame. The company's products are used in protective clothing for fire service, military and industrial workers, in semiconductor and electronics, in aerospace, automotive, and various other high temperature applications.

The company is headquartered in Charlotte. Its corporate location is in Charleston, and global sales offices are located in England, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong.