FRANKLIN, Tenn. —China's Triangle Group Co. Ltd. is getting close to breaking ground on its previously announced passenger and light truck tire factory in Edgecombe County, east of Rocky Mount, N.C.
The government in China signed off on agreements and approvals the week of May 14 to fund the first phase of the $580 million project, a passenger and light truck tire plant with capacity for 6 million tires annually, according to Manny Cicero, CEO of Triangle Tire USA, and Marketing Director Mary Ma.
All that remains is the securing of several site permits, including one for air quality, before construction can commence, they said in an interview at the company's office in Franklin on May 22.
Currently site preparation is under way, Ms. Ma said.
Triangle announced late last year that it planned to build two tire plants in the U.S. on a 1,449-acre plot of land in Edgecombe County. The first phase would be a passenger and light truck tire plant, with groundbreaking for the second plant, a 1 million-unit capacity truck-and-bus tire facility, to begin six months after the start of construction on the first plant.
The factories will share a rubber mixing facility located between them, Mr. Cicero said.
Construction of the passenger and light truck tire plant is expected to take 18 months to complete and will contain the latest manufacturing technology.
Triangle Group Chairman Ding Yuhua "wants this to be the most advanced manufacturing facility in the tire industry," Ms. Ma said.
Target date for phase one completion is April 2020.
Triangle ranks as the 16th largest tire maker in the world, with an estimated $2 billion in annual tire sales. according to Tire Business' 2017 Global Tire Rankings. The company established its U.S. unit, Triangle Tire USA, in Franklin, just south of Nashville in January 2016.