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Sofidel Group, a firm based in the Tuscany region of Italy, plans to build a new tissue manufacturing plant in Pickaway County, about 15 miles north of Chillicothe. Hundreds of new jobs are expected to be created, with hiring beginning in the fall of 2016 and operations beginning in early 2017.
The company made the announcement Nov. 5. The 1.4 million square foot facility will be across from the current DuPont operations, just south of Circleville. It will be on the east side of U.S. 23 and just south of the PPG plant.
"I can tell you this, from a capital investment and from a job creation standpoint, this is a once-in-a-generation type of opportunity that comes along, at least in Pickaway County," Ryan Scribner, executive director of the Pickaway Progress Partnership, told the Chillicothe Gazette. "It's a really big deal and the numbers are significant.
Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart termed the announcement a “game-changer” for the community.
According to company CEO Luigi Lazzareschi, the U.S. market is a critical one for Sofidel.
"The U.S. is the most important market in the tissue paper industry, so selecting an ideal facility location was critical to our continue growth in American markets," Lazzareschi said. "Assistance from SelectUSA, JobsOhio, Columbus 2020 and the Pickaway Progress Partnership was critical in our evaluation of communities and selection of Circleville for our new plant."
Sofidel, in a news release, said, "By replicating its successful strategy already implemented as part of the company's internationalisation process in Europe, Sofidel has identified Circleville in Ohio ... as an area for launching the first greenfield investment in the new continent, a step which will significantly increase the company's production capacity. The selected area in the Midwest offers important cities located within a few hundred kilometers and is a well-established logistics hub for distribution operators."