Volvo announced this morning that it had chosen Berkeley County for its car manufacturing campus. Gov. Nikki Haley and Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, alongside about 20 business leaders, held a news conference Monday at the Governor’s mansion in Columbia to share details of the announcement.
Phase 1 includes construction of manufacturing and production space, plus administrative offices and a visitor’s center on about 575 acres, according to an application filed last month with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District. Phase 1 would employ about 2,000 workers.
Phase 2 calls for construction of a second manufacturing, assembly and production space on 322 acres. Phase 2 would employ an additional 2,000 workers at full capacity.
“While the timing of construction of Phase 2 is dependent on market conditions, it is expected to be constructed and operational within 10 years of the initiation of construction for Phase 1,” the application said.
The manufacturing facility needs direct access to the highway system and to be within 50 miles of an airport and a port, the permit says. The site sits off Interstate 26 and is about 30 miles from the Port of Charleston and Charleston International Airport.
As a mitigation plan for possible environmental impacts to surrounding wetlands and waters, the applicant proposes that the company should preserve or restore about 1,500 acres of wetlands within 2,500 acres of property.
That land would be permanently protected in the Dean Swamp and Walnut Branch watersheds and Four Hole Swamp tributaries, which the National Audubon Society defined as priority areas in need of protection.
The company plans to invest $500 million in the site and create 4,000 jobs in the Low country over the next decade.”