Fuji Vegetable Oil will invest $70 million to launch a new processing facility adjacent to the former Avondale Shipyard in Jefferson Parish, LA. The specialty oils producer will create 39 new direct jobs for the project, with an average annual salary of $77,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in another 48 new indirect jobs, for a total of 87 new jobs in Southeast Louisiana.
Fuji’s new facility in Avondale primarily will import and refine palm oil from sources in the Pacific. The company selected Louisiana for its highly skilled workforce, proximity to new markets and strong shipping infrastructure. Access to international waters will be vital to the company’s import of raw materials and export of finished products.
“Fuji Vegetable Oil Inc. looks forward to the opening of our new facility in Jefferson Parish,” said Fuji Vegetable Oil President Andrew Bunger. “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.”
Founded in 1987, Fuji Vegetable Oil is headquartered in Savannah, GA and is the U.S. arm of parent company Fuji Oil Group based 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 Vegetable Oil’s investment in Avondale confirms Louisiana’s economic strengths,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “We offer an unrivaled shipping infrastructure, outstanding business resources and a highly skilled workforce. I am proud to welcome Fuji to Louisiana. This new project will diversify Louisiana’s economy, and I am confident Fuji will find success in our great state.”
LED began discussions with Fuji Vegetable Oil in August 2016. To secure the project, Louisiana offered an incentive package that includes the LED FastStart® workforce training program. 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 (JEDCO) provided support by coordinating meetings with Jefferson Parish leaders and offering tax incentive guidance. JEDCO also offered space at the organization’s Conference Center to support the company’s hiring and job training activities.
“JEDCO is delighted to welcome another global food product manufacturer to our parish,” said JEDCO President and CEO Jerry Bologna. “The food cluster is a priority of the Jefferson EDGE, the economic development strategic plan for Jefferson Parish. Fuji’s decision to locate in Jefferson Parish is indicative of our success in elevating opportunities for food-related industries. Additionally, we are excited about the development of quality, high-paying jobs on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish within this targeted industry cluster. We appreciate Fuji Vegetable Oil’s investment in our community and look forward to a long-term partnership.”
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.
Relocating or Expanding Your Business In Louisiana
Considering Louisiana for your company’s relocation or expansion project? Check out Business Facilities’ Louisiana Incentives and Workforce Development Guide.