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York in South Carolina gets Bluestar Silicones R&D center
Jun '12
Bluestar Silicones, a global integrated silicones manufacturer, held a grand opening on June 15 for its new plant and R&D center in York, S.C. The multi-million-dollar investment is the centerpiece of Bluestar Silicones' strategic growth plan which positions the company as a premier supplier in the silicones industry. More than 130 customers, and local, state, and federal officials, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, attended the event.  The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, plant tours and a reception.

"The opening of our new manufacturing and R&D facility is a major step forward in the execution of our strategic plan for North America," said J. Christopher York, president of Bluestar Silicones North America. "It is an exciting time for our company and the customers we serve as Bluestar Silicones evolves into a top tier supplier."

Bluestar Silicones is aggressively focused on becoming a significant player in the silicones industry and plans to double sales over the next five years. As part of its global expansion plans, the company has relocated its two U.S. manufacturing facilities in Ventura, Calif. and Rock Hill, S.C. to the 226,000-sq-ft building which is situated on 21.5 acres. The move to York reaffirms the company's commitment to the North American markets and supports its global five-year strategic growth plan.

"We are incredibly excited to have Bluestar Silicones merge their facilities in York," said Governor Nikki Haley.  "This is a top of the line silicone manufacturer that is going to focus on research and development and raise the bar for South Carolina, not across the country, but across the world."

"Our investment in York, S.C., is significant because it takes our business to the next level," said York. "We are planting new roots and building a foundation here that will create business opportunities and position us for future market share growth."

The facility now is the central R&D center for Bluestar Silicones in North America, bringing R&D personnel together under one roof. The larger manufacturing workshops and laboratory facilities and new pilot equipment are expected to improve technical synergies and accelerate product development and support. In addition, the new manufacturing and R&D center will provide enhanced customer service capabilities, resulting in improved efficiencies and faster response times.

"Our sizable footprint in York will give us ample room to expand workshops, supporting existing specialty markets along with entry into new markets," explained York. The company is already a leader in paper release coatings and textile coatings for automotive air bags. Bluestar Silicones seeks to accelerate its penetration of high-growth markets such as healthcare, personal care, and solar energy.

The company also intends to increase staffing in sales, marketing, and technical service at the York facility.   Overall, employment is projected to increase 35% during the next two years at the York facility.

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