- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - German tannery company ISA TanTec will open its first American tannery in Mississippi.

The company, which currently has tanneries in Vietnam and China, is investing $10.1 million and plans to hire 366 people over five years.

The company will locate in the former CalsonicKansei factory in the Ceres Research & Industrial Interplex in eastern Warren County.

The state is lending $2 million to Warren County to buy the building. The Mississippi Development Authority is also giving the company $750,000 for building improvements and is sending $1.9 million in federal community development money to build a wastewater pretreatment facility.

CalsonicKansei made emissions equipment for Nissan Motor Co. in the 135,000-square-foot building. It closed in 2007, laying off or relocating 130 workers.

ISA TanTec sells leather to shoe makers including Timberland, Wolverine, Deckers, Clarks, Merrell, Sperry, Rockport and New Balance.

ISA TanTec is confident that its third location - its first in the United States - is the right strategic approach for further growth and development of the most modern tannery group in the world,” ISA TanTec CEO Thomas Schneider said in a statement. “With the domestic market and supply of leather to the South American region, ISA TanTec will strengthen its competitive advantage and offer sustained profitability for our shareholders.”

At is Chinese and Vietnamese tanneries, TanTec has focused on producing leather in ways that use less energy and do less harm to the environment, what it calls Lite, or “low impact to the environment.”

Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., welcomed TanTec in a ceremony.

“I am proud to welcome this global company as the newest business partner to the state of Mississippi and newest member of the Vicksburg community,” Bryant said in a statement.