Construction to begin on tire plant
BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Friday, April 12, 2019
Twin Counties residents are going to begin seeing action this summer at the site of the future Triangle Tire plant in Edgecombe County, the area’s chief business and industrial recruiter said.
Carolina’s Gateway Partnership President and CEO Norris Tolson said Triangle Tire CEO Xu Kangyuan and Triangle Tire Vice President for Finance Clara Huo were in Rocky Mount recently to meet with him and his team, along with vendors who are going to be suppliers.
Tolson also said Kangyuan and Huo met in Rocky Mount with state Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland and met in Raleigh with the company’s area attorney and with financial experts.
Triangle Tire, which is based in China, in late 2017 announced plans to bring approximately 800 jobs to the Kingsboro Megasite, which is approximately five miles east of Rocky Mount and approximately six miles west of Tarboro.
Tolson said construction is set to begin on Phase I of the project is going to start in June on the part of the plant to make tires for cars and is going to start in July on the part of the plant to make tires for trucks.
“Obviously they’re starting to pick up steam now with their planning around getting ready to start building something because they’re in the building season. And so they want to get their contractor out there on that site just as quick as they can and get started,” he said. “The other thing that we talked about while they were here is that they are now starting to plan Phase II of the project, what they’re going to do and when they’re going to get started on that.”
Phase II calls for making tires for large equipment such as earth-moving machines.
“And s, while they were here, they were meeting with various people about planning to get that work underway as well,” he said.
As for whether Triangle Tire has provided any artist rendition or printout of what the plant is going to look like, he said, “We do have a footprint of the plant that they supplied us about 10 days ago.” He said the company is still working on the details and said such a document is not yet ready for release.
Overall, Tolson said he is thrilled, not only for Edgecombe County, but the region as well.
Tolson said when the Triangle Tire plant gets up to full speed and needs to fill the approximately 800 jobs in the first phase, “We’re going to be pulling people from all over eastern North Carolina to work out there. That’s point one.”
He said the second point is when the Triangle Tire plant and a close-by future Corning distribution facility start taking shape, he believes people who are looking to relocate are going to become quite excited about being in the area.
He said the third point is in Edgecombe and Nash counties.
“We could very easily have hundreds of construction workers out there on those two sites as we get into the summer months of this year,” he said. “That’s going to create a lot of interest, a lot of new opportunity.”
Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans, in commenting about the impact of Triangle Tire, said, “Well, our hope is that it’s going to help us to make a dent in our high unemployment rate.”
“We’re excited for the opportunity of our citizens to be able to access these new jobs, relatively good-paying jobs. So, it’s a great opportunity for all of us,” he said.
And he noted at the Kingsboro Megasite, “We’ve still got hundreds of acres of land available out there. And we’d love to see suppliers of Triangle. We’d like to see complimentary production facilities out there.”
“We’d love to be cutting multiple ribbons over the next couple of years,” he added with a smile.
Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Freeman is upbeat, too.
“It’s an exciting time to think that we’re here in Edgecombe County — and here we are in the middle of this wonderful Triangle mass area over here — megasite — and folks are coming in from all over the eastern seaboard asking how they can get connected,” Freeman said. “They’re giving their business cards and they’re saying, ‘Well, you know, we just wonder who we could talk to about being connected with Triangle Tire.’”
For more information about the megasite, go to https://www.econdev.org/kingsboromegasite.