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Showa Denko Carbon Inc. Announces Expansion in Dorchester County

Japanese graphite electrode manufacturer to create 100 new jobs in Ridgeville

COLUMBIA, S.C. – February 9, 2011 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce, Dorchester County, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the South Carolina State Ports Authority today joined Showa Denko Carbon Inc., a principal supplier of graphite products to the global steel industry, in announcing the company’s plans to significantly expand its Dorchester County operations. The investment is expected to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and will result in the creation of approximately 100 new jobs.

Showa Denko Carbon Inc. (SDKC) started operations in 1983 and was acquired by Showa Denko KK in 1988.  “We operate quietly in rural Dorchester County, but our impact has been significant in the U.S. electric furnace steel industry and around the world.  Because our business has been successful and we see growing demand for high quality graphite electrodes, we have decided to expand within the overall framework of SDK’s new medium term business plan – PEGASUS.  We believe this decision will be good for our customers and the community.  Many thanks to Dorchester County, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Santee Cooper and the state of South Carolina for their assistance in helping us to bring this competitive project to South Carolina,” said Robert C. Whitten, president and CEO, Showa Denko Carbon Inc.

Showa Denko Carbon will expand its current operations in Dorchester County where the company produces premium graphite electrodes and granular graphite used by the steel and automotive supplier industries, respectively. The company expects the expansion will be completed by mid-2013.

“We congratulate Showa Denko on today’s announcement and look forward to the company’s increased presence in our state. Improving South Carolina’s business climate is a top priority for this administration. By lowering taxes and regulatory burdens for companies, both large and small, we can expect to attract more investments, like this one, that create jobs for South Carolinians,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Showa Denko Carbon has operated the plant in Dorchester County since 1988 and supplies approximately 40 percent of the nation’s large diameter, ultra-high-power graphite electrodes from the Ridgeville facility. The company’s synthetic graphite is used primarily for electric arc furnace steelmaking, but also automotive friction materials. Additionally, the company prides itself on supporting the recycling industry. Showa Denko’s graphite electrodes help its customers melt scrap metal into new steel products. 

“Showa Denko has been a great asset to our county,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry Hargett. “We congratulate and thank Showa Denko on its new investment.  This type of commitment demonstrates their confidence in Dorchester County and the Charleston Region.”

“Showa Denko is a highly respected name in manufacturing with a strong community presence,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority.  “The Port of Charleston is proud to handle Showa Denko’s international shipping needs.”

“Showa Denko’s decision to expand in our market sends a powerful message to industry leaders worldwide,” said CRDA Board Chairman Sean Bennett. “It’s especially exciting when a global company with such deep roots in our region is not only successful but also sees future growth opportunities here.”

The company’s Ridgeville operations currently employ more than 220 people. The company anticipates it will begin hiring by 2012.  Next year, individuals interested in job opportunities are encouraged to contact the Summerville Workforce Center.

About Showa Denko Carbon Inc.

Showa Denko Carbon Inc. operates a fully-integrated graphite manufacturing plant near Ridgeville, South Carolina. The company is part of the Inorganics Sector of Japan-based Showa Denko KK, one of Japan’s leading chemical companies operating in five major segments including petrochemicals, chemicals, electronics, inorganics and aluminum. Along with its sister plant in Omachi, Japan, Showa Denko Carbon Inc. is a principal supplier of graphite electrodes to the global electric arc furnace steel industry. For more information about the company, please visit