Photo of Sofidel plant in Inola

The $360 million Sofidel plant under construction in Rogers County will encompass 1.8 million square feet. Courtesy

It’s a sign of strength and hard work that an Italian tissue manufacturer is getting ready to open its $360 million plant in June at the Inola River Rail Industrial Park.

Sofidel’s investment will bring a vitality, optimism and 350 jobs to the region. It is expected to make a $100 million annual economic impact and marks an opportunity to lure more companies into northeast Oklahoma.

We welcome it to the neighborhood.

At 1.8 million square feet on 240 acres, the facility will be a giant in a land of young giants. It’s a bit smaller than the in-development Amazon distribution center but bigger than the Macy’s fulfillment center.

Operations of the site bring together a paper mill and converting plant to complete a finished product in one location, from pulp to tissue.

This development represents the largest manufacturing investment Oklahoma has seen for five years, and it has room to grow.

A company spokesperson told Tulsa World reporter Rhett Morgan a second phase could increase jobs to 600 and double the physical plant’s capacity.

Word is getting out that Oklahoma has a lot to offer employers. We have a good, central location, hard workers and receptive business climate.

The plant is also a sign of how business leaders and elected officials can work together for a stronger economy.

Last year, PSO announced it was transferring about 2,000 acres at the Inola River Rail site to the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority for economic development. It will develop rail and other infrastructure to businesses.

With Sofidel secured as an anchor tenant, it becomes easier to show investors the benefits of making Oklahoma home.

Congratulations to all the people who had a hand in making the deal happen.

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