Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Canadian Modular Factory Comes to South Carolina

A Canadian company, Innovative Composites International, Inc., that was lured to South Carolina with incentives worth $17 million has opened its manufacturing facility in Orangeburg, bringing new jobs and business for the Port of Charleston.

Terry Ball, founder of ICI

The company last year announced it has signed agreements worth $228 million to supply modular housing to Haiti, Ghana and Brazil. Commercial shipments of the modular homes produced in South Carolina are expected to begin in May.  Innovative Composites International, Inc. will manufacture affordable housing systems at the 126,000-square-foot facility, primarily for shipment to overseas locations.

The ICI facility is expected to produce about 5 million square feet of affordable housing yearly once it is running at full capacity. Currently, about 25 people work at the facility, producing components for about five modular homes weekly,

The company’s EcoScape modular housing uses foam-core structural panels reinforced with a thermoplastic fiber-reinforced skin. The company says the largely recycled material uses no wood, and is impervious to water and impact resistant.

According to ICI, 16 EcoScape shelters that would be 8-by-16-feet when assembled can be shipped in a single 40-foot container, and assembled on-site with only a screwdriver.

Ball said components for a nearly 1,000-square-foot house would also fit in one shipping container.

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