June 27, 2013 10:15:44 AM
Area business leaders convened Wednesday for the Golden Triangle Development Link's quarterly luncheon and heard a report on the status of Yokohama Tire Company manufacturing plant construction in Clay County from Link CEO Joe Max Higgins.
Higgins said Yokohama officials want to have the first of the new plant's four phases complete for testing by the fourth quarter of next year and begin tire production in the second quarter of 2015.
He gave a thorough timeline of how the project evolved, from the time West Point and Clay County joined the Link through the first visit from Yokohama representatives of the Prairie Belt Powersite to the official announcement of the partnership between the tire manufacturer and state of Mississippi in April.
The company will commit $300 million and provide 500 jobs per phase -- a total of $1.2 billion and 2,000 invested in the new plant. The second and third phases are slated to begin operation in 2017 and 2019, respectively. The plant is slated to be running at full capacity by 2023.
All four phases of the plant will total 5 million square feet.
An announcement has not been made on who will serve as the project's general contractor. Officials are currently scheduled to break ground on the plant in September, although Higgins said that date could possibly be moved to August.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.