STL opens new US cable plant

STL plant

Cable and optical firm STL has opened a $56 million manufacturing facility in Lugoff, South Carolina, which will specialise in ‘future-ready optical solutions.’

The Palmetto Plant spans around 168,000 square feet and will employ 150 people, and it is also now STL’s North American Headquarters. It will churn out various telecoms equipment such as high fiber count cables with smaller diameters and high-capacity ribbonized cables for rural deployments.

The facility will prioritize optical connectivity products that are simple to deploy, monitor, and maintain, we’re told, and it ‘aims to achieve zero waste and reduce energy consumption progressively’ – which sounds a bit vague.

STL produces glass, fiber, cabling, and optical connectivity, and claims to be ‘one of only 6 players worldwide with end-to-end capabilities in this space,’ (excluding China).

“The inauguration of STL’s manufacturing plant marks a significant stride forward for our state’s broadband efforts and will provide new opportunities for our people in Kershaw County,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “South Carolina has built a national reputation as a leader in broadband expansion, and with STL establishing operations in South Carolina, that reputation will only expand.”

Paul Atkinson,  CEO, Optical Networking Business at STL added: “Our new cable plant in Lugoff, South Carolina, is a testament to our commitment to the US market and our customers in North America. This facility mirrors our ethos and  STL’s larger purpose – of Transforming Billions of Lives by Connecting the World. I am excited to see its impact on America’s rural connectivity and digital landscape.”

The release references ‘enabling the BEAD vision’ by which it means the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) programme, which is intended to extend last-mile coverage across the US and encourage domestic production.

Along this theme, the firm declared that the new factory is part of its ‘commitment to the Make in America vision’ – which aside from sounding grammatically awkward is part of general trend of the US attempting to ‘on-shore’ more high-tech manufacturing, encouraging an expansion of domestic supply of key products though funding initiatives rather than relying on particularly China.


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