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376 new jobs promised after Chinese company chooses to open plant in Petersburg

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Oct 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-30 13:33:41-04

PETERSBURG, Va. — The governor announced more than 370 jobs would be coming to Petersburg after UniTao Pharmaceuticals LLC purchased the Boehringer Ingelheim plant with plans to invest $22.5 million to establish operations there. Thursday’s announcement comes days after Governor McAuliffe returned from a marketing mission to Asia.

“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,” Governor McAuliffe said in a statement. “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.”

UniTao is a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The company makes active pharmaceutical ingredients.

More than 200 people lost their jobs with Boehringer Ingelheim closed its plant in 2013.

"An investment of this magnitude and new job opportunities in an economically distressed community is cause for celebration," Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, said in a statement. "It is a great testament to our ongoing efforts and Virginia’s incredible assets."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Petersburg to secure the project with the assistance of a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.

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