An Australian-based environmental remediation company will invest $4.1 million and create 226 jobs in Statesville with its first North American production site, according to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.
EPOC Enviro, known in Australia as OPEC Systems, manufactures SAFF, which stands for Surface Active Foam Fractionation, which is used in places such as landfills, airports, military bases and sewage treatment sites to remediate PFAS.
PFAS stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which contain a strong carbon-fluorine bond that allows them to accumulate over time in the environment and in the bodies of animals and people, posing health risks. They’re often referred to as “forever chemicals” because most do not break down.
EPOC Enviro has three decades of global environmental engineering experience. EPOC, which stands for Emerging Pollutants of Concern, provides a sustainable remediation solution that removes harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water, soil, and industrial systems.
The company patented SAFF in 2016 as a natural process using air to permanently, and rapidly, remediate PFAS with “zero harm” to the environment.
The new location in Statesville will provide 260,000 square feet of manufacturing space to serve and expand its U.S. market.
“After looking at possible sites all over America we are delighted to have settled on North Carolina as the hub for our U.S. business activities,” says Peter Murphy, president of EPOC Enviro, in a released statement. “Statesville is perfectly situated in a beautiful corner of the country, and it is exactly the kind of community we were hoping to become an integral part of.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support EPOC’s location in North Carolina. New positions include electricians, engineers, fitters, managers, technicians, and administrative personnel. Salaries for the new positions will vary, but the average annual salary for the new positions is $64,464, which exceeds the Iredell County average wage of $64,433. The project could create a potential annual payroll impact of more than $14.5 million per year for the region.
EPOC’s project will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $712 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1.2 million spread over 12 years.
Because EPOC chose a site in Iredell County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $421,750 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities across the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.