Published Nov. 24, 2008
The Russian company that purchased the former Shell Lubricants plant in North Charleston last year is planning to invest $55 million to retrofit the plant’s existing infrastructure to support the manufacture of its automotive and industrial lubricants.
The expansion will add capacity and create 160 jobs at Delfin Group USA’s local operation, which serves domestic and global markets, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance announced Monday.
Delfin purchased the nearly 42-acre industrial site from Chevron in late December for $20 million.
The North Charleston operation employs 15 people; the 160 additional jobs will come in the next three to four years, with initial expansion plans to be completed in 2009.
Other plants were considered for the expansion, according to the news release.
“The port and infrastructure attracted our attention,” said Markos Baghdasarian, Delfin Group USA’s president. “However, the support pledged to us by state and local officials created an important advantage for North Charleston versus any other location.”
The expansion project was facilitated by the Charleston Regional Development Alliance in partnership with public- and private-sector allies including the S.C. Department of Commerce, Charleston County and the city of North Charleston.
“With global commerce a key driver of the local economy, nearly 90 companies in our region have international ownership,” said alliance Chairman Jim Bryan. “Delfin is our only Russian company, and this expansion proves we have the right mix of world-class assets to continue broadening our international community.”
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey also welcomed the announcement.
“Delfin is breathing new life into an industrial site that has supported the petroleum industry for nearly 100 years,” he said. “With the company so quickly expanding its operations here, we hope to achieve many more years of productive use. Thank you, Delfin, for your confidence in North Charleston.”