New plant in NW Georgia to bring 200 jobs

A Middle East company that produces backings for carpet will build a plant in northwest Georgia and create 200 jobs, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday.

Deal said Mattex, a Dubai and Saudi Arabian company, will expand its U.S. operations by investing $60 million in a Murray County extrusion manufacturing plant over the next three years. The plant will be built just outside Eton.

Mattex currently has a distribution facility in Calhoun, in Gordon County.

It’s the second major announcement in recent days about jobs coming to northwest Georgia, home to major carpet and flooring producers that have been hit hard by the recent economic downturn.

The region shed thousands of jobs after the carpet and flooring industry, like many tied to home building, suffered when home sales declined sharply. Now, with home sales and construction rebounding, more manufacturers tied to the industry are seeking to expand.

“Mattex’s expansion speaks to the continued revitalization of the floor covering industry in northwest Georgia,” Deal said in announcing the new plant.

Mattex produces polyolefin-based textiles, develops and produces primary and secondary carpet backings, artificial grass backings, and woven and nonwoven geotextiles.

Mattex Chief Executive Officer Luc Blommaert said the company is building a state-of-the-art carpet-backing plant. He said the new plant is the “next logical step for better servicing our current customer base.”

Construction on the plant will begin this summer and operations are expected to begin in 2014.

Mattex is eligible for $7.94 million in state incentives, including job tax credits, sales and use tax exemptions for qualified machinery used in production, and Quick Start employee training services, according to spokeswoman Alison Tyrer of the state Department of Economic Development. The company also has been recommended for a $450,000 project development grant to the community.

The Georgia plant will be Mattex’s first manufacturing facility outside the Mideast. In addition to its warehouse in Calhoun, the company has plants in the Middle East and warehouses and offices in Australia/New Zealand, Europe and Africa.

Last week, Deal announced Engineered Floors, founded by former Shaw Industries chief Bob Shaw, will open two new carpet plants that would employ 2,400 people in northwest Georgia .

Deal said Engineered Floors will invest $450 million in the two plants. One factory would be built in Whitfield County and create 1,000 jobs and another in Murray County would create 1,400 jobs.

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