Construction crews were already hard at work in Gray Court this past Wednesday as Fibertex hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its $49.5 million expansion.
The expansion project includes a new manufacturing facility that will add a new spunlace textile production line for Fibertex Nonwovens, which opened in Gray Court in 2016, as well as a new North American headquarters office building for the company.
“It’s a huge win for us,” said Laurens County Development Corporation President and CEO Jonathan Coleman. “Not only are they expanding their manufacturing footprint, but they’re moving their North American headquarters to Gray Court.”
Fibertex purchased 84 acres adjacent to its current manufacturing plant along Old Laurens Road to make room for the new facility and offices.
“This is Fibertex’s fourth expansion in the last four-and-a-half years, and with the property they’ve purchased, there will be plenty of room to keep growing,” Coleman said.
The expansion is expected to add 39 new manufacturing jobs to the Gray Court facility.
A rendering of the new headquarters was unveiled prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, and Fibertex President Oscar Fontalvo said the new headquarters building is proof of the company’s commitment to Gray Court and Laurens County.
Thomas & Hutton architects of Greenville has designed the new facilities, which will be constructed by Greenville-based THS Constructors.
“That building will look more like a headquarters and bring a different corporate level that it will be housing to the area,” Coleman said. “The design will bring a European influence into the town of Gray Court.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as medical protective equipment became scarce, Fibetex began manufacturing materials for masks as well as sanitary wipes and other products for everyday use.
The additional need for those and other materials have aided in creating the need for the Fibertex expansion.
“Market trends are finding support in the added focus on health and hygiene, more emphasis on local production and on sustainability, which is to our benefit,” said Fibertex Nonwovens CEO Jorgen Bech Madson in a release through THS Constructors. “With this new investment, we’ll be able to build an extremely strong position in the important North American market for, among other things, high-performance wipes for sanitizing and disinfection purposes in the healthcare/medical sector, sustainable personal care products, a range of industrial applications, as well as in the automotive industry and the construction sector.”