City, county unveil ‘Project Robot’: Local economic development leaders welcome EcoDual

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EcoDual, Inc., a leading provider of dual fuel conversion systems for heavy-duty, Class 8 trucks, last week announced its plan to locate its new manufacturing facility in Beaufort County. The more than $13 million investment is expected to generate 307 new jobs over the next five years.

“This is a big day for Beaufort County and a signal to the business world that we want you in our community,” said Kim Statler, Lowcountry Economic Alliance, Executive Director.  “EcoDual is a great beginning for our push for green technologies and manufacturing.  We welcome them and look forward to watching them grow.”

Doug Thompson, founding partner of EcoDual, describes how his company’s dual fuel conversion system operates.
Doug Thompson, founding partner of EcoDual, describes how his company’s dual fuel conversion system operates.

“We are excited about establishing our new manufacturing operations in Beaufort County,” said Anant Vashi, chief financial officer for EcoDual. “South Carolina offers EcoDual a fantastic business environment and an excellent talent pool to ensure we can meet our customers’ expectations. With the growth we are experiencing in our business, we are excited to plant deeper roots in the state. We are grateful for the support we’ve received from state and local officials.”

EcoDual develops proprietary dual fuel conversion systems that enable diesel trucks to operate on up to 60% natural gas, allowing truck fleet owners to reduce operating costs by utilizing the cleaner, U.S.-produced natural gas as a transportation fuel. The company is currently located in a temporary facility at 9 Pin Drop Lane in Beaufort.

EcoDual will build a permanent facility in the Beaufort Commerce Park within the next 18 months. The permanent facility will be located on 12 acres in the commerce park and housed in a 100,000-square-foot facility.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Beaufort County and our region,” said Blakely Williams, Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce President & CEO.  “We are excited to have this amazing technology in our community and we thank the Lowcountry Economic Alliance, Beaufort County, and the South Carolina Department of Commerce for pulled together to make it happen, bringing in hundreds of new jobs to our area.”

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 8,000 jobs in the automotive-related sector.

“We are very excited that EcoDual has chosen Beaufort County as their location and look forward to many successful years of business growth,” said Paul Sommerville, Chairman Beaufort County Council.  “It is a great time to welcome new high skill manufacturing to our region.”

The company will work with readySC on hiring and training workers. Qualified applicants should inquire about job opportunities at EcoDual by contacting careers@ecodual.com.

Rep. Shannon Erickson said she is proud of the coalition of people who came together to make the partnership happen. “Beaufort County is open for business; this is a day to celebrate.”

Doug Thompson, a founding partner of EcoDual, thanked the local leadership that worked tirelessly to answer his company’s questions and he said “South Carolina is a fantastic place to start and grow a new business.”

Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling talked about how local groups have merged in the past year and a half to focus on economic development. And even though it threatened rain outside, “It’s a sunny day in my life,” he said.

DYNOCELL PARTNERSHIP: In order to provide the adequate equipment for research and development, Beaufort County Council is purchasing emissions testing equipment and a diesel dynometer.   The equipment will be used by EcoDual to do necessary testing for product development.  EcoDual is currently working with Clemson Univerisity/CUICAR to provide data analysis as needed for further research and development efforts.   This large diesel engine testing equipment and dynometer are not available in South Carolina today.  This equipment will be a tremendous asset to EcoDual as well as a community asset for additional company recruitment.