by Tyler Hale
A Chinese manufacturing company has officially opened a new heavy equipment parts manufacturing plant in Jonesboro. Today (Oct. 23), state and local officials gathered in the Craighead Technology Park as the Heifei Risever Machinery Co. unveiled its new facility.
Originally announced in October 2017, the facility is 125,000 square feet and represents a $20.5 million investment for Risever. The company estimates that the new facility will create approximately 130 new jobs in Jonesboro over the course of five years.
Risever officials are currently projecting an annual production of 18,000 tons of steel at the facility. However, Yonggang Lai, Risever general manager, says the facility’s production in 2020 will likely be around 6,000 tons of heavy steel.
“This is a day of celebration and a remarkable occasion for Risever,” Yonggang Lai said in a statement. “It also marks our start of trial production. We will remain consistent with our business plan, ensuring that $20.5 million dollars of investment are in place. We will have welding, machining, painting, and 3D inspection equipment. Our goal is in 2020 to have the capacity to fabricate 6,000 tons of heavy steel per year.”
The Jonesboro plant is Risever’s first location in the United States. It is part of the company’s “Made in the USA” initiative, according to a news release.
“We’re thrilled that the Risever plant is in production,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Risever is one of several Chinese companies that are choosing to locate in Arkansas thanks in large part to our skilled workforce and low business costs. Because foreign investment is vital to our state’s economic health, we hope that other companies across the world will see the advantages Arkansas has to offer.”
Risever provides products for companies, including Caterpillar, Volvo and Komatsu.
“Today marks over two years of hard work between Risever, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Jonesboro Unlimited,” Mark Young, president of Jonesboro Unlimited aid. “Recruiting companies like Risever is an essential part of our five-year strategic plan to create 2,500 direct, new, high-paying jobs in Jonesboro. We are glad to see this family-owned company take this exciting step.”
Image courtesy of Arkansas Economic Development Commission