Updated: St. George in Dorchester County lands forestry equipment maker, 40 jobs

A Canadian manufacturer has picked St. George as the site of a new factory that will make handling equipment for the forestry business.

Hiring information

The BID Group said it will begin hiring for the new positions soon. Openings will be posted at www.bidgroup.ca/careers

The BID Group of Companies said Wednesday that its Comact unit will expand to the Dorchester County seat and hire 40 workers over the next two years as it seeks to grow its business in the Southeast.

The British Columbia-based parent company will establish the Comact USA manufacturing unit in 40,000 square feet of industrial space at 176 Academy Road, in a building previously occupied by modular home-maker Signature Building Systems.

“The strategic location places Comact USA in the heart of one of the world’s busiest forestry areas,” the company said in statement.

Startup operations for the $3 million investment will begin in early September.

“We are thrilled to be expanding into the Southeast U.S.,” said Brian Fehr, co-founder and CEO of the BID Group. “We are already filling orders now, and we are excited to hit the ground running with this expansion.”

Gov. Nikki Haley hailed the announcement.

“International companies have come to recognize South Carolina as the right place to do business, and today’s announcement by the BID Group is another indication of that fact,” Haley said in statement.

For Comact, the new location will reduce time-to-market and related costs. Otherwise, the company would have to ship goods to Southeast U.S. customers from one of its locations in Canada, according to statement.

The BID Group was started 30 years ago as a builder of sawmills in northern British Columbia. It now operates about 10 businesses, mostly in the forestry, mining, engineering and equipment-rental industries.

The company bought Comact, which was founded in Quebec as Jos. Cote Inc. in 1924, in April.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.

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