Huali photo

File photo

Officials say the Appalachian Regional Port, pictured here, was key in bringing Huali Floors to Murray County. The company announced plans on Wednesday to create a U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility near Eton that will employ 315.

A Chinese floorcovering company plans to create its first U.S. manufacturing plant and U.S. headquarters near Eton.

“We are excited to welcome Huali Floors to Murray County,” said Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday in a press release. “It’s a testament to Georgia’s logistics network and readily available workforce when an innovative company like Huali Floors chooses Georgia to establish their first U.S. manufacturing operation. I congratulate the hardworking Georgians in Murray County on this exciting news, and I am confident Huali will find success in the Peach State.”

The press release said "Huali manufactures a variety of high-quality floorcovering products, including luxury vinyl tiles, stone plastic composite and wood plastic composite flooring." The company plans to hire 315 people.

"The local partner is going to be hiring people in June, and they want to have the first phase of the project up and running in the fourth quarter of this year," said Ilya Copeland, executive director of the Murray County Industrial Authority. He said the plant will be in the former Mattex building.

"They are looking at a five-year phase in, but the vast majority of those jobs will be hired within the first two years," said Copeland.

Those interested in applying for a job can go to murraycountychamber.org/hfusa for more information.

"Huali Floors will be investing more than $27 million," said Copeland. "The building and the landowner, JLWA, will be making a $20 million investment as well, so the total value of this project is right at $47 million."

Plans call for the building to be expanded by 180,000 square feet, bringing it to a total of about 560,000 square feet.

Copeland said the facility will be importing raw materials through the Port of Savannah by way of the Appalachian Regional Port in Crandall.

"This is the second big project in Murray County (following the GE Appliances logistics center near Crandall) which is because of the port," said Copeland.

“It speaks volumes that Huali Floors sees the benefit in the Port of Savannah and the connection to the Appalachian Regional Port, and plans to locate their very first U.S-based manufacturing facility 9.5 miles away from the terminal,” said Wesley Barrell, Georgia Ports Authority regional manager of strategic operations, in a press release. “Huali’s projected volume will be handled with efficiency and precision, we look forward to a long-standing relationship both at the Appalachian Regional Port and the Port of Savannah.

Murray County Sole Commissioner Greg Hogan said the county will provide a 100% tax abatement for the first year.

"This is the first time I've done that, and it's because they are going to be building out the first year," he said. "After that, we've used a matrix system that's going to give them a 40% to 45% abatement over 15 years."

The company's website says Taizhou Huali New Materials was founded in 2002 and as of 2019 has more than 2,000 employees and two production facilities that cover 4.6 million square feet.

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