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WL Plastics to create 40 jobs
Polyethylene pipe manufacturer to invest $12M in Bulloch
WL Plastics Logo Web

Codenamed “Project Greyhound,” the Georgia Department of Economic Development confirmed Monday that WL Plastics Corporation will bring 40 jobs and a $12-million capital investment to the Gateway Industrial Park in Statesboro.

The Statesboro Herald reported the business details of the project in this past Saturday’s edition, but agreed to withhold the name of the company pending the state’s announcement.

WL Plastics currently operates seven state-of-the-art manufacturing locations in North America. They are considered one of the most efficient producers of HDPE pressure pipe.

“We are very excited to have WL Plastics locate in Georgia and become part of the Statesboro community” said Mike Dahl, director of pipe manufacturing for WL. “We think this is a terrific location to service our customer base in the region, and we believe the town, county and workforce will be a very good fit for our operation.”

The company produces a broad pipe product mix and focuses its main efforts on four industry segments: potable water, wastewater, oil and gas and industrial or mining. WL also participates in geothermal, landfill and nuclear market segments, as well as natural gas distribution piping and export markets.

“We welcome WL Plastics to our distinguished group of manufacturers in Statesboro and Bulloch County,” said Garrett Nevil, chairman of the Bulloch County Commission. “We are confident that WL Plastics will be another great success story for our local and regional economy.”

The Development Authority of Bulloch County worked in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Power in recruiting WL Plastics to Statesboro.

When Dr. Benjy Thompson, CEO of the Development Authority, first heard about the project in December, Bulloch County was not on the list of locations the company was considering.

“But because of a good bit of outreach and relationship building we’ve done through the Development Authority, the state project managers actually asked them to include us on the list,” Thompson told Bulloch County commissioners during a special-called meeting last Friday. “They added us because they talked us into it, which is a good thing.”

Unlike enticements for some larger projects, the incentive package for this relatively small employer does not include a break from property taxes. So the new plant will bring tax revenue to the county in the near future, said County Manager Tom Couch.

The 40 full-time jobs are expected to pay wages averaging $15.80 an hour, Couch said.

Incentives to the company include a grant of land from the county-backed Development Authority, a waiver of county permit fees, state tax credits of $4,000 per job created, and the rail spur and road extension, which would be funded either partly by the county or wholly by federal and state grants.

The per-job incentive costs will be about $29,000 to the county and $29,000 to the state, Couch said. He later explained that this estimate includes the full amount of the two $500,000 grants, whose reality remains to be seen, and one year of the job tax credit, which would extend longer. The Development Authority valued the land at $30,000 an acre, or roughly $930,000 total.

The agreement includes clawback provisions for the county and state to get back up to 100 percent of the cost of incentives if the company does not achieve at least 80 percent of its commitment to create 40 jobs and a $12 million capital investment, Rushing said.

“We believe and hope that they will go well beyond those numbers,” Thompson said. “Their numbers look more like about 50 or 60 jobs and about $20 million in capital investment.”


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