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Columbia Business Monthly

e-VAC Magnetics to Build First U.S. Facility in Sumter County

Dec 13, 2023 03:29PM ● By David Dykes

e-VAC Magnetics (e-VAC), a leading manufacturer of rare earth permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere, said it is establishing U.S. operations in South Carolina, building its first facility in Sumter County.

The project is expected to bring more than half a billion-dollar investment and create 300 jobs for Sumter County, according to Gov. Henry McMaster’s office.

e-VAC is part of the VAC Group (VAC), a leading developer of magnetic materials and solutions. e-VAC produces rare earth neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, which are critical to automotive, defense, industrial and renewable energy applications.

The facility and VAC’s decades of experience in rare earth magnet technology and process intellectual property represent a critical step to ensuring a resilient, U.S.-based supply chain, South Carolina officials said.

“This project represents a significant commitment by VAC to re-shore critical process and product technology, creating good paying and highly skilled jobs for residents of the community. With this support, we will directly contribute to U.S. energy independence and national security,” said VAC Group Chief Executive Officer Erik Eschen.

"Our concerted efforts to attract electric-vehicle related businesses to South Carolina continue to pay off in a major way, this time with more than half a billion dollars invested and 300 new jobs for Sumter County. This transformative investment by e-VAC will bolster Sumter's economy while strengthening our already thriving electric vehicle supply chain,” McMaster said.

The company will build, own and operate a new facility on 85 acres in the Pocotaligo Industrial Park in Sumter County. The facility will house production of permanent magnets for electric vehicles and defense applications.

e-VAC entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense, which will provide $94.1 million to acquire and install manufacturing equipment, operationalize technical infrastructure, and engineer production lines for the facility. Operations are expected to be online in late autumn 2025.

Through the readySC program, South Carolina’s Technical College System will help e-VAC recruit and train potential employees. A website with hiring information will be available next year.

The S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project.

The council also awarded a $13 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant to Sumter County to assist with the costs of land acquisition, site preparation, road improvements, water and wastewater improvements, and building construction related to this project. 

Sumter County was also awarded a $2 million LocateSC grant to offset costs associated with needed infrastructure improvements for the Pocotaligo Industrial Park.