MBJ: Power products plant nears completion in West Memphis
Sediver expects to have its West Memphis manufacturing facility up and running by March 2017.
The $10 million, 70,000-square-foot facility will manufacture glass insulation products for power lines. When finished, the West Memphis plant will be the French company’s only manufacturing facility in North America.
Sediver’s customers are often power companies, and it chose West Memphis due to an agreement to provide glass insulators to Plains & Eastern Clean Line, which is building a 700-mile direct current transmission line from the Oklahoma panhandle to Shelby County.
William Tucker, plant manager for Sediver, said the company will begin recruiting, screening and training employees in late December. The facility will create 70 jobs.
In addition to assembly, the facility will also conduct insulator tests that simulate extreme temperatures and lightning strikes.
Tucker estimates it will take most of next year for Sediver to get to full capacity.
But, when it does fully ramp up, it will produce between 8,000 and 10,000 tons of glass annually. The company measures its production in tons of glass but that translates to more than 2 million insulators per year, depending on size.
When the facility initially opens, it will obtain glass for the insulators, and the products will be assembled in and distributed from West Memphis. But, Sediver has plans to expand onto 16 acres that are adjacent to the plant where it could eventually produce its own glass. The company plans to buy as many of its supplies locally as possible.