Japan-based AstaReal Technologies Inc. will invest $30 million to build a microalgae based biotechnological manufacturing plant for the production of natural astaxanthin in Moses Lake, Washington, creating 45 jobs in the region.
“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. We believe that preventive medicine will play an even greater role in future of healthcare as advances in anti-aging and lifestyle disease research drive improvements both in the treatment and prevention of disease and illness.”
Fuji established its manufacturing subsidiary, AstaReal Technologies, Inc., in order to expand its astaxanthin business in the United States. The manufacturing plant is anticipated to start operation in the third quarter of 2014. AstaReal Technologies plans to hire manufacturing operators, quality control personnel, facilities maintenance workers and administrators.
The manufacturer said it decided to build the astaxanthin factory in Moses Lake and Grant County primarily because of the abundant water resource and competitive costs of renewable hydropower energy. A skilled labor force, an open culture welcoming to Japanese companies, and supportive local and state governments were also contributing factors.
Grant County, the City and Port of Moses Lake, the Grant County Economic Development Council, and the Washington State Department of Commerce worked cooperatively with Fuji over the past year to help this visionary manufacturing facility become a reality, the firm said.
“We are pleased that Fuji and AstaReal have decided to make Moses Lake and Grant County the home of this one-of-a-kind manufacturing process,” said Moses Lake Mayor Bill Ecret. “AstaReal Technologies will produce natural astaxanthin using state of the art photo-bioreactors to cultivate microalgae. AstaReal has been developing its technology for astaxanthin since the 1990s.”