Fuji Chemicals to build new natural astaxanthin plant in US

Fuji Chemical Industry, AstaReal Technologies Inc., Grant County, and the City of Moses Lake jointly announced that AstaReal Technologies Inc. will build a microalgae base biotechnological manufacturing plant for the production of natural astaxanthin in Moses Lake, Washington. 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.

In line with its philosophy to contribute to the health of people all over the world, Fuji decided to build the astaxanthin factory in the City of Moses Lake in 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 for the decision to locate in Moses Lake.

“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. 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 photo-bioreactors to cultivate microalgae. AstaReal has been developing its technology for astaxanthin since the 1990s. This technology is said to be the key to managing the environment of microalgae in order to realise a stable production of high quality natural astaxanthin. The natural astaxanthin produced in Moses Lake will be marketed in the United States and worldwide through Fuji’s various subsidiaries.

The manufacturing plant is anticipated to be completed and start operation in the third quarter of 2014.

Source: Fuji Chemicals