STL invests US$56m in US facility

Created September 18, 2023
News and Business

STL has announced the launch of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Lugoff, South Carolina – The Palmetto Plant (pictured). Named after the state tree of South Carolina, the US$56 million facility has also been designated as STL’s North American Headquarters.

The company says its strategic investment and expansion efforts in the U.S. reinforce STL’s commitment to the “Make in America” vision and support the country’s BEAD programme. Addressing the market demand for 5G, FTTx, and the push for rural broadband, The Palmetto Plant, spanning over 168,000 sq. ft will specialise in future-ready optical solutions, including high fibre count cables with smaller diameters. The emphasis will also extend to high-capacity ribbonised cables and ruggedised designs for rural deployments. To help operators tackle the industry-wide skills shortage, the new Lugoff facility is also prioritising optical connectivity products that are simple to deploy, monitor, and maintain. Additionally, comprehensive on-site testing aligned with industry-standard GR20 guidelines ensures the high quality and reliability of its products.

The Palmetto Plant was inaugurated by Hon. Henry McMaster, Governor of South Carolina, in the presence of government dignitaries, key customers, and representatives from the local Chambers of Commerce. It employs over 150 people, including skilled manufacturing associates and seasoned industry specialists leading the company’s North American operations. In addition, STL has committed to being Net zero by 2030. Following in the footsteps of STL’s other global manufacturing units, the Lugoff facility also aims to achieve zero waste and reduce energy consumption progressively.

“The inauguration of STL’s manufacturing plant marks a significant stride forward for our state’s broadband efforts and will provide new opportunities for our people in Kershaw County,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “South Carolina has built a national reputation as a leader in broadband expansion, and with STL establishing operations in South Carolina, that reputation will only expand.”

Excited about this significant milestone, Paul Atkinson, CEO, Optical Networking Business at STL, said: “Our new cable plant in Lugoff, South Carolina, is a testament to our commitment to the US market and our customers in North America. This facility mirrors our ethos and STL’s larger purpose – of transforming billions of lives by connecting the world. I am excited to see its impact on America’s rural connectivity and digital landscape.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.