The Port of St. Helens Commission approved a lease agreement with a South Korean auto safety bumper manufacturer at Wednesday’s Commission meeting. DongChun Ltd. will lease the 14,000 square-foot building located at 514 Milton Way in St. Helens.
DongChun Ltd. manufactures a product called a drive impact relax device (DIRED), which uses permanent magnets and electromagnets to absorb the shock generated in a collision. The bumpers can either be retrofitted or included as part of the vehicle assembly process. It’s a technology that DongChun Ltd. has patented worldwide.
DongChun Ltd. believes their product will revolutionize the automobile industry. “This patented technology will be the next phase of automobile safety standards, on the same level as the safety belt and airbag,” said DongChun Ltd. CEO and president Gyeong-Su Kim.
“We plan to have the first assembly line up and running by the first quarter of 2019,” said Kim. “The St. Helens facility will be a test bed to see the potential demand for the product.”
Port executive director Doug Hayes also emphasized that the company wants to hire locally.
“DongChun Ltd. will not only bring jobs to the county, but their product has the potential to change the landscape of the automobile industry and save lives,” noted Hayes.
Depending on initial demand, the company will have the capability of adding two to three more production lines at the St. Helens site, and anticipates eventually building a larger facility on six acres at the port’s industrial park in Columbia City.
After being produced in Columbia County, the product will ship out to client locations worldwide for both private after-market assembly and to large-scale auto makers.
For more information about DongChun Ltd. visit www.dongchun.kr/en.