Japan's Fuji Oil is planning to invest around ¥600m (US$5.5m) in a plant in China to expand its soybean protein producing business in the country.

Fuji Oil will raise its stake in China's Shandong Longteng Fuji Foodstuffs Co to 52% and the local firm will build the new factory, which will produce bean curd skin, or yuba, and other soy products, reported the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Construction of the plant will begin before the end of the year, and is expected to be completed in October 2004.

Shandong Longteng Fuji Foodstuffs was set up in 1995 as a joint venture between Fuji Oil, Itochu Corp and a Chinese partner, to produce soy products for the Japanese market. After the expansion, the company will also make products for the Chinese market, the Nikkei Report said.