UniTao Pharmaceuticals purchased the Boehringer Ingelheim plant in Petersburg, Virginia, and will invest $22.5 million to establish its pharmaceutical manufacturing operations center in the Commonwealth.
UniTao is a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a company that manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients. Boehringer Ingelheim announced its plant closing in August of 2013, affecting 240 total employees by the end of this year. Simultaneously, UniTao was seeking an existing manufacturing facility in the U.S. to expand its global market share, according to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Office. The Petersburg operation is a perfect fit for the company’s specific needs and allows quick startup to production.
“Our expansion to Virginia underscores our commitment to meeting the demands of our global customers as efficiently as possible,” said Tao Ye, CEO for UniTao Pharmaceuticals. “The former Boehringer Ingelheim facility, the region’s accessibility and its skilled workforce will enable us to start operations quickly and better meet marketplace demands in the U.S. and elsewhere. We are grateful for the support of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Petersburg and also the hard work of both the Boehringer Ingelheim and UniTao teams that have gotten us to this point. We also are very pleased to be a catalyst for continued, advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D in the region.”
As an incentive, Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Petersburg to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Petersburg with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The company will also be eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit and sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment.
Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “This project will have a tremendous impact in the City of Petersburg and the surrounding region. I had the great privilege of meeting with company officials during my Asia marketing mission last week in Shanghai, China to officially close this significant win. UniTao’s new manufacturing operation in the Commonwealth is another milestone in building a new Virginia economy and builds on Virginia’s longstanding and growing relationship with China.”
“The Governor’s marketing mission to Asia provided a unique opportunity to strengthen Virginia's relationship with Asian companies that already have a Virginia presence, to share our great story with prospective corporate investors and trade partners, and to solidify deals like today’s announcement,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “It is a great testament to our ongoing efforts and Virginia’s incredible assets that Tenry will establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the City of Petersburg. An investment of this magnitude and new job opportunities in an economically distressed community is cause for celebration.”