Samsung’s South Carolina plant is reportedly commencing operations in the third quarter of 2018. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung Electronics’ manufacturing plant in South Carolina will reportedly commence operations during the second half of 2018. Industry sources do not have information on the exact date yet, but they have learned that commercial production of washing machines will begin in the third quarter.

On Thursday, industry sources told Taiwanese publication Digitimes that Samsung is already setting up its new manufacturing facility in The Palmetto State, so it could start production of appliances there during the third quarter of the following year. They also disclosed that for the initial phase of commercial production, the South Carolina plant will focus on producing washing machines.

The industry sources also indicated that the $380 million manufacturing facility targets to have an annual output of 800,000 washing machines when it is already operating at full capacity. Samsung’s goal of manufacturing numerous washing machines in the U.S. makes a lot of sense, considering that the company is the number one vendor of the appliance in the country. In the first half of this year, Samsung had a 19.4 percent share in this market. Globally speaking, it is also doing well having 14.7 percent share during the same period.

Samsung already has a call center located in Greenville, South Carolina. The office supports 800 full time and contracted jobs. Meanwhile, the Newberry County facility, when fully operational, will support 954 employees, including engineers, operators, craftsmen, as well as technical and non-technical positions.

In June, Samsung announced via its Newsroom that it has reached an agreement with South Carolina to open a home appliance manufacturing plant in Newberry County. At the time, the tech giant stated that the plant it will be building will produce industry-leading home appliances.

“We aspire to be the global leader in premium home appliances,” Samsung Electronics CEO B.K. Yoon said. “This new investment will enable Samsung to increase the speed with which we can deliver premium home appliances that reflect the regional preferences of our fastest growing and most important consumer market.”

Samsung actually started contemplating on expanding its U.S. production base about three years ago. It then began initial discussions with the State of South Carolina in the fall of 2016. Following the talks, Samsung chose the Newberry County as the most strategic site for its new manufacturing facility.

“The fact that one of the world’s largest and most respected technology companies is choosing to invest in South Carolina speaks volumes about the innovation and excellence our talented workforce is capable of,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said. “I’m thrilled to strengthen our state’s partnership with Samsung and look forward to working with them to get this new facility up and running, and producing high quality made-in-South Carolina products.”

“For nearly forty years, Samsung has steadily expanded our operations in the United States – creating thousands of jobs and investing billions of dollars in cutting edge manufacturing facilities, research and development,” Samsung Electronics America President & CEO Tim Baxter said. “With this investment, Samsung is reaffirming its commitment to expanding its U.S. operations and deepening our connection to the American consumers, engineers and innovators who are driving global trends in consumer electronics.”

The South Carolina plant is the latest addition to the growing number of Samsung’s household electrical appliance manufacturing facilities. Thus far, it has 12 production bases in 10 countries, including the U.S., Russia, Poland, Thailand, Brazil, India, Malaysia, Mexico and Vietnam.