SANFORD, FL-Unicell Paper Corp.’s 91,000-sf manufacturing plant and office site at 3401 Jewett Lane is on target for completion early next year. The paper company, which is a subsidiary of South Africa’s Sharma Group, began developing the idea for the plant five years ago, but ground didn’t break until March.

The plant–where workers will make paper tissue from paper pulp fiber–will be 85,000 sf and 6,000 sf of office space. CPH Constructors LLC is the general contractor.

In 1999, the Sanford City Commission offered Unicell nearly $180,000 in incentives to construct its plant in the area. While Unicell has not commented on the role any incentives played in its decision, the paper manufacturer had considered building in Jacksonville, as well as Houston. The plant will bring about 70 new jobs to the area. With plans for a second phase in the future, Unicell will be able to offer even more jobs to local residents.

According to CPH Constructors’ vice president and CFO Brij Sharma, everything has gone as planned. “The building is ready,” Sharma tells “The plant (equipment) installation is going on right now. We will finish the job in February.” The 56-foot-high plant sits on a 15-acre site and will house state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. The Sharma Group also has plants in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Caribbean and other locations in South Africa.

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