FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2002

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


L. Todd Lumadue
Wako Chemicals USA, Inc.
(804) 271-7677
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Wako Chemicals USA Announces Eastern Shore Expansion
-Governor Warner praises $500,000 investment in Northampton County-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. will relocate its Haemachem Division production facility from North Carolina to Northampton County. This relocation will create five biotech jobs, with the potential for more, through an investment of $500,000. Virginia successfully competed with North Carolina for the project.

“This new facility will bring valuable, high-paying jobs to the Eastern Shore,” said Governor Warner. “Wako Chemicals’ decision to locate in Northampton County will enhance Virginia's position as a leader in the biotechnology industry.”

Headquartered in Chesterfield County, VA, Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd. of Japan. Wako Pure Chemicals Industries, Ltd., world-renowned for its high purity chemicals, established Wako Chemicals USA, Inc. to expand its presence in the United States. The first U.S. operations opened in 1981.

The new Wako Chemicals USA facility will perform research with LAL, Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate, which is produced from the blood of horseshoe crabs. LAL has the unique ability of detecting bacterial endotoxins; an application approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for applications such as testing injectible drugs. The horseshoe crabs are not killed in the process and their return to the ocean makes this a truly sustainable application.

“Northampton County was chosen due to its close proximity to our source of horseshoe crabs, the resources available from Virginia Tech and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the existing infrastructure at our facilities in Chesterfield County all coupled together with the excellent facilities available in Cape Charles, and its Sustainable Technology Park,” said Wako Chemicals USA Senior Vice President Kiyoshi Misu.

“Wako Chemicals USA is a wonderful addition to the Sustainable Technology Park,” said Rick Hubbard, Chair of the Industrial Development Authority that operates the park. “Northampton County’s Board of Supervisors invested in this innovative eco-industrial park specifically to create a home for companies like Wako that will create jobs while making sustainable use of local resources.”

Tom Dixon, Chairman of the Northampton Board of Supervisors said, “On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, we welcome Wako Chemicals USA to the community with open arms. This company is an ideal fit into our endeavors in not only making a sustainable park but also a sustainable community.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Economic Development Commission and Northampton County assisted Wako Chemicals USA with its decision.

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