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BST To Open Manufacturing Facility In North Carolina

BST Safety Textiles, a division of Southampton, Pa.-based automotive textile manufacturer Narricot Industries LP, will invest $35 million to open a facility in Cordova, N.C., to produce side-curtain air bags for automobiles. The new facility, which will employ 200 workers — mostly weavers, technicians and material handlers — will expand the company’s manufacturing capacity to enable it to satisfy growing demand in the North American market for side air bags.

BST, which is owned by New York City-based investor group WL Ross & Co. LLC, will move into available space in a plant owned by Greensboro, N.C.-based International Textile Group (ITG), also owned by WL Ross. According to Joseph L. Gorga, president and CEO, ITG, speaking on behalf of WL Ross, preparations are already underway to make that space ready for occupation.

“The machinery is on order and should be on the floor as early as April,” Gorga said. “We expect to get to the production level needed to match our needs within six months to a year.”

BST also operates a state-of-the-art facility in South Hill, Va., for the manufacture of air bags. “We invested $20 million in Virginia, and it’s filled to the brim with machinery,” Gorga said. “The Cordova plant will be additive and complementary to the Virginia plant.”

The company received a $200,000 grant from the One North Carolina fund, as well as a nine-year Job Development Investment Grant that could provide as much as $1.37 million in state personal withholding tax equivalent benefits if the company creates all the jobs proposed and keeps them for nine years.

February 6, 2007