State-owned utlity Santee Cooper today approved a $1.5 million loan for a speculative shell building to be constructed in the Upstate.

The hope is that the 50,000-square-foot industrial structure in Laurens County that will help attract new employer to the area.

The site in Gray Court near U.S. Interstate 385. It is served by Laurens Electric Cooperative, which buys its power from Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper.

The total project cost is $2.1 million. The county is providing $600,000 in land and improvements.

Laurens County is south of Greenville and Spartanburg.

Santee Cooper approved its funding at a board meeting today. It said it brings to $5.6 million the total amount that the power and water utility has loaned to several business projects statewide in the past six months.