STL has announced the launch of its state-of-the-art optical fibre cable (OFC) manufacturing facility in Lugoff, South Carolina – The Palmetto Plant. Named after the state tree of South Carolina, this facility, also designated as STL’s North American Headquarters, symbolises STL’s commitment to the US market.

The Palmetto Plant was inaugurated by Henry McMaster, governor of South Carolina, in the presence of government dignitaries, key customers, and representatives from the local Chambers of Commerce. This strategic investment and expansion efforts in the U.S. further reinforce STL’s commitment to the “Make in America” vision.  Addressing the market demand for 5G, fibre-to-the-x (FTTx), and the push for rural broadband, The Palmetto Plant, spanning over 168,000 sq. ft will specialise in future-ready optical solutions, including high fibre count cables with smaller diameters. The emphasis will also extend to pioneering designs, notably high-capacity ribbonised cables and ruggedised designs for rural deployments. To help operators tackle the industry-wide skills shortage, the new Lugoff facility is also prioritising optical connectivity products that are simple to deploy, monitor, and maintain. Additionally, comprehensive on-site testing aligned with industry-standard GR20 guidelines ensures the high quality and reliability of its products.

STL has committed to being net zero by 2030. Following in the footsteps of STL’s other global manufacturing units, the Lugoff facility also aims to achieve zero waste and reduce energy consumption progressively.

The Palmetto Plant employs over 150 people, including skilled manufacturing associates and seasoned industry specialists leading the company’s North American operations.

Commenting on the launch, Henry McMaster, governor, South Carolina, said, “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. 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.”

Meanwhile, Paul Atkinson, chief executive officer (CEO), Optical Networking Business, STL, said, “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.” 

From glass to fibre, cabling, and optical connectivity, STL is one of only six players worldwide with end-to-end capabilities in this space. The company works closely with regional and national players and with industry associations like the FBA and the Power and Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) to create meaningful impact at scale.