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Building boom
Crews working almost non-stop on EFACEC facility project
12.30 efacec work 1
Workers have been busy on the massive EFACEC facility in the Effingham Industrial Park at the intersection of Highways 21 and 275. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Crews are working feverishly on the EFACEC site, Effingham Industrial Development Authority members said.

The Effingham Industrial Development Authority is still working on grant proposals tied to the work needed for the EFACEC site.  

Under the agreement to bring in the Portuguese manufacturer of electrical transformers, the state is providing a $2.75 million development grant and the IDA is writing proposals for another $500,000 in grant money for rail spur and road improvements. The IDA also is tabbed for a $1.5 million investment in the project.

“Basically, we’ve met the total obligation of our end of the agreement,” IDA Chairman Chap Bennett said.

However, the state reimbursement may be a little short on one item, perhaps by as much as $150,000. Still, work continues at a feverish pace and the company’s expected investment is targeted to exceed the $100 million level agreed to in the original memorandum of understanding.

According to IDA CEO John Henry, the grant writer asked about using the higher investment level in preparing the grant for the employee incentive program. But on advice in a conference call with OneGeorgia staff, the IDA opted to keep the grant information at the original investment level.

Workers started pouring the slab for the plant two weeks ago at one in the morning.

“They’re working full-time,” said IDA member David Carter.

So far, EFACEC has spent more than $11.3 million on the site.

IDA members approved a bond resolution for EFACEC, even though the company is not borrowing money for constructing its plant, IDA attorney Marvin Fentress explained. The company is issuing the bonds to take advantage of tax abatements.

“Every December, they want to issue bonds for the money they have spent on the project,” he said. “Most of that went into engineering and soft costs.”

But, Fentress added, there has been a great deal spent on the work being done, nearly every day, at its Effingham Industrial Park site. The company has a $64 million contract with BE&K and has paid $6.8 million to that firm already.

Crews already have drilled more than 2,500 pilings on EFACEC’s, and they are working on the ingress and egress off Highway 275.

Phase I of the plant, which will be about 226,000 square feet, is scheduled to open in November. The company projects to have a workforce of 232. When the plant is fully built, it will employ approximately 670 workers in a 252,000 square foot plant.

EFACEC also is looking for qualified electrical engineers and draftsmen with calculating ability and is starting to reach out to those who may have been laid off at either Great Dane or JCB.