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Fuji building $30million astaxanthin facility in Washington State

July 17, 2013

President Nishida meets with Washington’s Governor Inslee about the astaxanthin project on July 11th, 2013.

President Nishida meets with Washington’s Governor Inslee about the astaxanthin project on July 11th, 2013.

Fuji Chemical Industry Co. Ltd., AstaReal Technologies Inc., Grant County, and the City of Moses Lake, Washington have announced that AstaReal Technologies Inc. will build a microalgae-based biotechnological manufacturing plant for the production of natural astaxanthin in Moses Lake, WA. During the initial construction phase, $30 million will be invested and 45 permanent local jobs will be created.

Fuji established its manufacturing subsidiary, AstaReal Technologies, Inc., in order to expand its astaxanthin business in the United States, and in the City of Moses Lake in Grant County primarily because of the abundant water resource and competitive costs of renewable hydropower energy. For decades, Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake was home to training operations for Japanese Airlines, the international passenger and cargo carrier. A skilled labor force, an open culture welcoming to Japanese companies, and supportive local and state governments were also contributing factors for the decision to locate in Moses Lake.

AstaReal has been developing its technology for astaxanthin since the 1990s. The natural astaxanthin produced in Moses Lake will be marketed in the United States and worldwide through Fuji’s various subsidiaries. “Astaxanthin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent for living organisms. We want to make people healthier and happier by delivering astaxanthin raw materials for health foods to people across the world.” said Mitsunori Nishida, President and CEO of Fuji Chemical Industry.

“We see the 21st century as the era of anti-aging,” he said. “We believe that preventive medicine will play an even greater role in the future of healthcare as advances in anti-aging, lifestyle and disease research drive improvements both in the treatment and prevention of disease and illness. To that end, we have succeeded in realizing the world’s first industrial production of natural astaxanthin, which is both safe and high in antioxidant potency. We have devoted more efforts than any other research organization in advancing astaxanthin research.”

AstaReal Technologies will produce natural astaxanthin using state of the art photo-bioreactors to cultivate microalgae. The 45 skilled people AstaReal Technologies plans to hire include manufacturing operators, quality control, facilities maintenance and administration. Most employees will be hired locally in mid-2014. The manufacturing plant is anticipated to be completed and start operation in the third quarter of 2014.

President Nishida said, “We are honored to be a community member of Grant County and the City of Moses Lake. We believe that this community will experience significant growth and want to contribute to this future development. This 30 million dollar investment shows our strong commitment to the future of this community.”

Fuji is a global company based near Toyama City in Japan.

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