Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc., a rapidly expanding discount tool retailer with over 430 stores nationwide, will invest $75 million and generate 200 new jobs as it expands its existing distribution center in rural Dillon County. The expansion also will triple the company’s volume through the Port of Charleston.

“Dillon has been the hub of our eastern distribution network for over a decade and South Carolina has been a great home for our company, providing us with a strong and skilled workforce and an excellent place to do business,” said Eric Smidt, CEO of Harbor Freight Tools. “With this expansion we’re making a commitment that extends far beyond building and equipping a new building. We’re making a commitment to outstanding corporate citizenship and a commitment to a great corporate culture that will make Harbor Freight Tools the employer of choice in the Pee Dee Region.”

The company plans to add about 1 million square feet to the company’s existing facility in the Tri-County Gateway Industrial Park in Dillon. The company built its original Dillon distribution center in 2001 and expects to complete the expansion by early 2014.

The company plans to begin hiring for new positions in October. Anyone interested in job opportunities should visit the careers page at the Harbor Freight Tools website at www.harborfreight.com/employment-opportunities.

“South Carolina provides a great location for companies to reach markets across the Southeast and, with our port facilities in Charleston, around the globe,” Gov. Nikki Haley said.

Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $322 million in capital investment and more than 2,800 jobs in the distribution and logistics sector.

“Every one of these jobs will have impact,” Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said.

With the expanded distribution facility, Harbor Freight Tools will increase the amount of product it ships through the Port of Charleston.

“We are pleased that Harbor Freight Tools has chosen South Carolina for its distribution center expansion, which will more than triple their volume through the Port of Charleston,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. “With access to Charleston’s deepest seaport facilities in the Southeast, our state is ripe for distribution projects. We look forward to growing our port’s great relationship with Harbor Freight over the coming years.”

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a rural infrastructure grant of $1 million and approved job development credits. A Community Development Block Grant worth $1.46 million was also approved.