State-owned utility Santee Cooper on Monday approved about $9 million in loans for five industrial development projects across South Carolina.

The loans from the Moncks Corner-based utility support projects representing $17.5 million in infrastructure investment when local financing is included. The projects benefit job recruitment in Bluffton, Rock Hill and the counties of Aiken, Clarendon and Dillon.

"With today's board actions, Santee Cooper has now invested more than $32 million in industrial infrastructure loans since 2012," utility President and CEO Lonnie Carter said. "Through these loans, we are helping local, often rural, communities build facilities that will attract modern industry and create good jobs for South Carolinians."

The money comes from a fund paid for by ratepayers and set up by the utility to encourage economic development in rural areas or those served by electric cooperatives and Santee Cooper's municipal customers, spokeswoman Mollie Gore said.

The loans will go to:

The Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield counties: $3.3 million to help build a 100,000-square-foot industrial speculative building in Sage Mill Industrial Park. Existing park tenants include Bridgestone and Genco. Total project cost is expected to be $6 million, and Aiken Electric Cooperative will provide electric service to the building.

Bluffton Public Development Corp.: $1.8 million to help purchase 55.9 acres in the Buckwalter Place Multi-County Business/Industrial Park. Total project cost is anticipated to be $3.6 million, and Palmetto Electric Cooperative will provide electric service. Other park tenants include Don Ryan Center for Innovation and CareCore National.

Business Development Corp. of Clarendon County: $850,000 to help build a 50,000-square-foot building in the Clarendon County Industrial Park. Nearby tenants include Advantage Southeast and Powell Valves. Total project cost is expected to be $2.45 million, and Santee Electric Cooperative will be electricity provider.

Marlboro Development Team Inc.: $1.3 million to help build a 15,000-square-foot building in the Northeastern Commerce Center in Dillon County. Total project cost is $2.2 million, and Marlboro Electric Cooperative will provide electric service.

Rock Hill Economic Development Corp.: $1.8 million to help build a 40,000-square-foot building in Waterford Business Park, which is already home to 3D Systems, Chicago Pneumatic Tool Co. and others. Total project cost is expected to be $3.3 million. This loan falls under a program previously approved by the Santee Cooper board for municipal customers and was presented for information purposes.

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