Williamson County commissioners approved a Chapter 312 agreement, or tax abatement, March 19 with South Korean automotive parts supplier Hanwha Advanced Materials America LLC.

The overview

The automotive part supplier will be building a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on 38 acres of land just north of Georgetown on I-35. The county is expecting an estimated $100 million capital investment from Hanwha, which includes taxes from the property and building, as well as the interior assets.

The tax abatement agreement, dating back to the county's trip to South Korea in April 2023, covers 70% of the taxable value of tangible personal property on the company's premises for 10 years. This includes assets that are not permanent fixtures, such as machinery or equipment.

“This project had a very competitive site selection process. Hanwha was considering a number of sites in Texas,” said Dave Porter, executive director of the WilCo economic development partnership. “This is a major victory I see for Williamson County, in that it helps diversify our economy. This was our first major entrance into the automotive industry. We have some automotive suppliers already here in Williamson County, but this is a major investment with lots of new jobs. I see this as a very successful win for Williamson County.”

Hanwha is the seventh largest business group in South Korea, said Simon Lee, president of Hanwha Advanced Materials America. Lee explained that the company chose Williamson County for its pro-business environment and proximity to the interstate highway running from Mexico to Canada, I-35.

The impact

The manufacturing site will create 180 new permanent jobs, according to the agreement, with additional provisions that include the company will hire 10 high-school-aged interns from the county each year during the life of the agreement.

Recalling his youth, Judge Bill Gravell said there were not many opportunities like this for kids in Williamson County when he was growing up.

“I want you to understand why it matters,” Gravell said, addressing the courtroom. “[With this deal] there will be at least 10 kids a year for the next 10 years to have an opportunity to learn a vocation trade locally. ... Whenever we can land a worldwide company–that's recognized internationally–into our community and it benefits our kiddos, Mr. Lee, I would do that every day.”