Orangeburg County's largest manufacturer announced Monday it will invest $105 million at its Old Elloree Road plant in Orangeburg, S.C. over the next decade and a half.
"We are excited about the expansion and we are excited about the future that is yet to come and the partnership that Husqvarna has," said John Stanfield, Husqvarna North America tax director.
This announcement was touted as the single-largest capital investment announcement in the region in the past 5 years.
Husqvarna North America announced it will make the investment over two phases.
The first phase will involve a $30 million investment to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013 and the second phase will involve a $75 million investment to be completed by Dec. 31, 2024.
The company is in the process of adding equipment at its Orangeburg County facility, which produces riding garden tractors, tillers and similar products. The added equipment will allow the plant to assemble new products, including the company's zero-turn-radius lawn mowers.
Production on the zero-turn-radius mowers will begin in December.
A 25-horsepower consumer mower will range from a 30-inch cut to a 52-inch cut. About 400 will produced daily.
A commercial mower will have up to a 72-inch cut and will include a diesel engine option. About 100 will be produced daily.
Earlier this year, Husqvarna announced it would shut down its Beatrice, Neb. plant and move its production lines to Orangeburg.
"It is an investment in the Orangeburg operation and it is an investment in the future of the company here in Orangeburg," Husqvarna Plant Manager Gerry Coons said, noting that the zero-turn-radius mower is a growing part of the business. "We anticipate it will continue to grow in the coming years."
The company's Orangeburg plant has been in operation since the early 1970s.
The company received the traditional fee-in-lieu of taxes incentive, which is a performance-based tax incentive agreement. South Carolina law allows counties to offer companies investing $1 million or more the chance to pay fees in lieu of local property taxes.
Under the standard agreement, in exchange for its investment the company will pay taxes on a 6 percent assessment ratio rather than the usual 10.5 percent industrial ratio.
Officials say it was the only incentive offered to the company.
In December, Husqvarna announced the establishment of a parts distribution operation in Midway Logistics Park in Lexington County.