CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposed 1.5 million-square-foot tire plant has cleared a hurdle toward opening and employing 1,800 people in the next few years.
Hankook Tire wants to locate its first North American facility in Clarksville. The two-phased Hankook construction process is scheduled to begin in 2014 and will result in a 1.5 million-square-foot facility designed to produce high-end performance tires at an annual production rate of about 11 million.
The Leaf-Chronicle reported (http://leafne.ws/1ifFU0m ) that the Industrial Development Board signed off on the 569-acre site on Tuesday.
The board’s executive director, Mike Evans, says engineers have looked at the Hankook site and agreed on the elevation and managing storm water to make the facility work.
“Basically, the engineers have taken a look at the Hankook site and have agreed on the elevation and how storm water on the property will be managed and directed into the retention areas in the industrial park,” Evans said.
The acreage that’s to support the $800 million Hankook site is going to be just slightly larger than what’s now visible at the first $1.2 billion phase of Hemlock Semiconductor, a plant currently mothballed amid a global polysilicon trade dispute.
The promised number of Hankook jobs for the Clarksville area is much greater than what Hemlock had originally guaranteed before mass layoffs were instituted at its still-to-be-commissioned plant: 1,800 direct jobs at Hankook, initially, versus 500 in the first phase of Hemlock.
In October, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of South Korean-owned Hankook, came to Clarksville to officially announce the decision.
Information from: The Leaf-Chronicle, http://www.theleafchronicle.com