Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

German manufacturer bringing 46 jobs to Mills River

Related Stories

MILLS RIVER — A German company that makes specialty nonwoven material used in many technical applications will begin hiring 46 employees in late 2017 and will begin operations in mid-2018, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development announced.

Norafin Industries announced plans to build their first North American manufacturing facilityon a 14-acre site on School House in Mills Road, adding to the community's run of new plant openings over the past several years. Norafin will invest $18.1 million on the 75,000-square-foot plant. The establishment of a North American manufacturing facility will allow Norafin to better serve existing clients, penetrate new markets, and provide a solid platform for continued future growth, the partnership said. The company has maintained a sales presence in Asheville over the past decade.

Norafin was established in 1980 in East Germany, making Mildenau, Germany their headquarters since 1997. Norafin is a leading manufacturer of specialty spunlace nonwovens used in many technical applications. One such application is heat and flame resistance barriers used in protective apparel for firefighters. “When you see the guys going out and attacking the fire, those suits often contain 2-3 layers of Norafin product,” stated André Lang, President of Norafin. Other applications serving industrial, medical, and filtration markets require different, but equally as demanding, performance criteria.

The company began their search for a North American location in March 2016. They explored sites throughout western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina before settling on the land in the farm community.

“We learned that this site reminds them of their home in the Saxony region of Germany — the mountains, the valley and the community,” shared Henderson County Commission Chairman Tommy Thompson.

The company plans to start site work in early 2017, which will be followed by vertical construction. By late 2017, the company will begin hiring, with production expected to begin by mid-2018.

“We are grateful, as always, to have our community and state supporting quality jobs in Henderson County. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina went above and beyond to help quantify our cost advantage, which pairs well with our unparalleled quality of life,” said Will Buie, Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development.