South Korean technology firm Samsung said Wednesday it will open a $380 million home appliance manufacturing facility in Newberry County that will create 954 new jobs over the next three years.

The manufacturer's new operations will occupy the former Caterpillar facility at 284 Mawsons Way in Newberry.

Samsung plans to employ workers in a broad range of advanced manufacturing jobs when operations begin next year, the company said. The site also will conduct research and development for Samsung products.

"With this investment, Samsung is reaffirming its commitment to expanding its U.S. operations and deepening our connection to its American consumers, engineers and innovators who are driving global trends in consumer electronics," Tim Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Samsung's decision "is a direct reflection of the fact that America is becoming an even stronger destination for global businesses looking to grow."

The facility will produce a premium line of home appliances including washing machines. Samsung already operates a call center in Greenville that supports 800 full-time and contracted jobs.

"As a global leader in technology, Samsung could have gone anywhere to locate its new facility, but chose to invest in South Carolina because it is a great place to do business," said Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who joined Ross, Samsung officials and others for the economic development announcement, which was made in Washington, D.C.

"Samsung's new plant will inject millions of dollars in Newberry and serve as a catalyst for further investment across the Palmetto State," Graham said. 

Santee Cooper's board of directors this week voted to provide the Samsung facility with $2.75 million worth of incentives. Newberry Electric Cooperative, which gets its power from Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper, will provide electricity to the Samsung facility.

The state's Coordinating Council for Economic Development also has approved job development credits for the project.

Henry Livingston III, chairman of Newberry County Council, said the facility "writes a whole new chapter" for the area.

"We are honored and proud to have won this project, and we pledge to do whatever we can to make Samsung-Newberry a tremendous success," he said.

Gov. Henry McMaster added the project is "one that will change the very fabric of the Newberry community."

Samsung will use the Port of Charleston to import and export parts and finished products. Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the State Ports Authority, called the manufacturer's decision "very significant to the port," adding it "reflects our ability to meet the global supply chain needs of major international manufacturers."

Caterpillar announced last year it would shutter its 325-worker Newberry plant by late 2017 and move the work to Texas, Indiana and Georgia under a cost-cutting plan. The Peoria, Ill.-based company has made electric power generators at the South Carolina factory since 2006.

Established in 1969 and employing nearly half a million people worldwide, Samsung manufactures TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, cameras, digital appliances, network systems and more. Over the past 40 years, the company's U.S. subsidiary has steadily expanded its footprint in the U.S., creating thousands of high-skilled jobs and investing in cutting-edge manufacturing.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_