The new Nestle Purina PetCare Co. plant announced for Hartwell last week will be the company’s second plant in Georgia with one already manufacturing pet food in Fairburn.
The new plant is expected to create up to 240 new jobs and invest $320 into its manufacturing and distribution center over the next six years, according to a news release from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal.
Company officers are still working to close on the property located off Industrial Park Road in Hartwell.
“We expect to close later this year with the distribution center operations planned to start up in 2018. The site we selected has sound infrastructure in place, which will make the transition into a pet food facility seamless,” said Purina spokesman Keith Schopp on Thursday.
“The distribution warehouse may require minor modifications for Purina distribution activity. Plans for production will follow in 2019 with more extensive modifications for pet food production. We expect pet food production to begin in late 2019,” Schopp said.
The plant in Hartwell will be “an important part of our manufacturing capabilities in the U.S.,” he said.
Purina makes several brands of dog and cat food and supplies, including Purina One, Dog Chow, Friskies, Tidy Cat and Pro Plan.
“The Hartwell site will be an excellent location for Purina’s first new U.S. factory in 20 years,” said John Bear, vice president of manufacturing for Purina.
“We see the company’s decision in selecting Hart County as reinforcement of our long-term vision and actions in supporting industry, agriculture, tourism, and the community’s continuing emphasis on workforce development,” said Joey Dorsey, chairman of the Hart County Board of Commissioners.
Georgia Department of Economic Development Senior Project Manager Joshua Stephens represented the Global Commerce division throughout the project in collaboration with the Hart County Industrial Development Authority and Georgia Power.
“The entire Hart County community has been steadfast in developing their local workforce and working to find an employer whose needs fit the Hart Springs facility,” said Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson.