Photo of the Fuji Oil office building in Japan via Fujioil.co.jp
Japanese-based Fuji Vegetable Oil has announced that will build an new processing facility adjacent to the former Avondale Shipyard in Jefferson Parish. The investment will total $70 million, create 39 new jobs with average salary of $77,000, and another 48 indirect jobs.
Fuji’s new facility in Avondale primarily will import and refine palm oil from sources in the Pacific. According to a statement from the company, Fuji selected Louisiana for its skilled workforce, proximity to new markets and strong shipping infrastructure. Access to international waters is vital to the company’s import of raw materials and export of finished products. Their fats and oils are used in a variety of industries and can be found in a wide array of products, including desserts, infant formula, frying fats and soaps.
Founded in 1987, Fuji Vegetable Oil’s U.S. subsidiary is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia. The company is a leader in the production of ingredients for the commercial food industry. Fuji Vegetable Oil is the U.S. arm of parent company Fuji Oil Group, which is headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Through its companies and subsidiaries, Fuji Oil Group makes everything from raw materials to finished products in the areas of oils and fats, confectionary and baking ingredients, and soy. Fuji Oil Group was established in 1950.
“Fuji Vegetable Oil Inc. looks forward to the opening of our new facility in Jefferson Parish,” Fuji Oil president Andrew Bunger said in a written statement. “Fuji is known worldwide for the quality of our products. Producing to our standards demands a high-quality workforce and strong local partners. After searching along the Gulf Coast and the Eastern seaboard, we felt Jefferson Parish provided the best location and, more importantly, best partners and future employees for the continued success of our business in the U.S.”
To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive solutions of the state’s workforce training program LED FastStart®. The company will receive a $250,000 award through the state’s Economic Development Award Program, which will be used for infrastructure improvements at the site. Fuji also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and the Industrial Tax Exemption Programs. Additionally, the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission, or JEDCO, provided support by coordinating meetings with Jefferson Parish leaders and offering tax incentive guidance.
Fuji plans to break ground on the new facility in late 2018, with hiring to begin in the following year. The company expects the new processing facility to be completed in early 2020, with commercial operations starting soon after.