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Governor McAuliffe announces 376 new jobs in Petersburg

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economic-forecast-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced today that UniTao Pharmaceuticals LLC has purchased the Boehringer Ingelheim plant in the City of Petersburg, and will invest $22.5 million to establish operations. UniTao is a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and the company manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients. The project is a result of the Governor’s meeting with company officials in Shanghai, china during his Asia Marketing Mission. Virginia successfully competed against California and china for the project, which will create 376 new jobs.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor 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.”

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. The Petersburg operation is a perfect fit for the company’s specific needs and allows quick startup to production.

“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,” saidMaurice 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.”

Tenry, founded in 2005, is a Chinese firm engaged in R&D, manufacturing, and sales of pharmaceutical drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), dietary supplements, and food additives. The company currently has 500 employees and five subsidiary operations: UniTao Pharmaceuticals, LLC; Shanghai Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Shanghai Qingping Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Hainan Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; and Shanghai Tenry Bio-Medical Technology Co., Ltd.

“Our expansion to Virginia underscores our commitment to meeting the demands of our global customers as efficiently as possible,” said Tao Ye, chief executive officer 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.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Petersburg to secure the project for Virginia. Governor 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.

“Today’s announcement by Governor McAuliffe and UniTao of hundreds of jobs and a multimillion dollar investment is a home run for the City of Petersburg, our local and regional economy and our residents,”said Brian A. Moore, Mayor of Petersburg. “The City is extremely pleased that UniTao has chosen this great city as a home for their operations. This will be a great driver to assist us with our continued plans of investment and growth.”

“We are proud to have been a part of the Petersburg community for more than 20 years, and we recognize how important this facility is to the City and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Dr. Pere Paton, VP Operations and Site Head of Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals, Inc. “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with UniTao, who has shown great commitment to the future of the site.”

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