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New manufacturing plant seen as next step in revitalizing south Augusta

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 8:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:26 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Dozens of new jobs are coming to south Augusta. A new manufacturing plant is expected to bring 80 to 100 jobs. City leaders like Mayor Hardie Davis were at the site Thursday to make the announcement.

PureCycle Technologies reached an agreement with the Augusta Economic Development Authority to build the facility at a 200-acre location in Augusta Corporate Park.

Company leaders say this new plant is starting from scratch. So they’ll be looking to hire every position from the line workers all the way up to site leadership. And it won’t stop at 100 jobs. In the future, they plan to add more.

PureCycle uses licensed proprietary technology to recycle waste polypropylene with varying levels of contamination for applications spanning consumer goods, automotive, building and construction and industrial uses.

In Phase 1, an initial $440 million investment will primarily fund three production lines. The company will have capacity to construct up to five processing lines.

Augusta-Richmond County was selected based on supply-chain efficiencies, community support, a skilled labor market and Georgia’s business-friendly environment, the company said.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Augusta Economic Development Authority to establish our next polypropylene purification facility,” said PureCycle CEO Mike Otworth.

“Our Augusta operation will be pivotal in our quest to help solve for the plastics waste crisis.”

What’s the reaction?

Much of south Augusta life came and went with the fall of Regency Mall. Leaders say PureCycle is the first step to bring some of that life back.

But with new housing, new jobs, and potential new business growth for south Augusta is looking up.

“In the realm of retail, restaurant, we’re still looking furiously to find the right type of opportunities for our city, and we think those are forthcoming, as well,” said Steven Kendrick of Augusta Economic Development.

“High-paying jobs in an area of our community that needs more vibrancy that needs more economic growth.”

Some people in south Augusta are concerned the expected growth might be too much growth. But Commissioner Brandon Garrett says he doesn’t expect District 8 to lose its rural feel.

“This is a huge announcement. It’s going to be a $440 million investment, not only in our county but for District 8. It’s going to bring anywhere from 80-100 jobs yet,” he said.

Business for Victoria’s Mexican Restaurant off Mike Padgett Highway could soon be speeding up.

He said COVID hit the business hard, but most of his customers are workers at the plants down the road, so a new one could only help business.

“Normally they come here in the afternoon after work,” said manager James Heheampong.

“We call it rush hour. During rush hour, everyone runs around like a chicken with the head cut off.”

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