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Bridgestone moving forward with big US expansions

Rubber News (subscription required) reports that Bridgestone Americas is progressing steadily on two expansion projects in South Carolina that entail more than $1.2 billion in investments. The projects involves an expansion of an existing PC/LT tire plant in Aiken County and the construction of a new OTR radial tire plant at a site about four miles away.

When its expansion is completed, the passenger and light truck tire plant will have a capacity of 37,750 tires per day. The two-phase project will cost nearly $350 million and is scheduled for completion in April 2015, according to Plant Manager John Stewart.

The OTR tire plant will cost about $900 million, and the facility will be the company’s first outside of Japan to use its radial tire technology for giant tires, said Norvel Smith, the factory’s general manager. Bridgestone expects to produce the first tire at the new plant in the first quarter of 2014, and the plant will reach full production in 2020, when it will have capacity to process 130 metric tons of rubber daily, producing tires from 49 to 63 inches in diameter.

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