Sartorius expands in Puerto Rico with $130 million investment
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares announced Friday a $130 million investment and the creation of 300 jobs in Puerto Rico by Sartorius, a German pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment supplier, which went ahead with its expansion plans on the island despite the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Sartorius has been manufacturing membrane filters in Yauco since 1982, and aseptic bags since 2012. With the expansion of the Yauco site underway, the company plans to double production of single-use bags for biopharmaceutical manufacture and filters and to triple cleanroom capacities. More than 450 people work at Sartorius in Yauco.
“Today we show once again that we are going in the right direction, strengthening the conditions that make the island the ideal place to invest. While it is true these have been months of great challenges for all, today we demonstrate throughout this recovery process that we have managed to lift ourselves up and are stronger than before,” the governor said at the announcing event in Yauco, accompanied by Rainer Lehmann, chief financial officer and member of the manufacturer’s executive board.
Lehmann said in a release that the “expansion of the plant is both a financial and a strategic investment. We have many excellent long-term employees there and very high production quality. Moreover, we find that the region provides a highly conducive business environment as well as a favorable investment climate,” adding that Sartorius was investing more than $100 million since late 2016 and 2018 in an additional area covering around two million square feet.
Rosselló said the firm’s new project consists of an expansion that includes an investment of $100 million in the construction of a 330,000-square-foot building and $30 million in the acquisition of machinery and equipment.
“It is excellent news that this company–dedicated to the production, handling of inventory, storage, export and import of membrane filters for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry–reaffirms its commitment to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that the passage of the hurricanes Irma and María nearly paralyzed this investment,” Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy.
Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Carlos Saavedra assured “this expansion is an example of persistence and that the combination of public- and private-sector efforts in the recovery process is being effective. Today, 300 Puerto Rican families benefit directly from this investment, but also all we Puerto Ricans benefit as we increase competitiveness, confidence in the markets and the participation of the workforce.”
Saavedra added that “we continue to seek better conditions for local and foreign companies such as Sartorius to retain their workers and invest in more opportunities for human resources.”
Founded in 1870, today Sartorius Group has some 50 manufacturing and sales sites around the world. Its two divisions comprise Bioprocess Solutions and Lab Products & Services. Bioprocess Solutions’ products focuse on single-use solutions for customers to produce biotech medications and vaccines, while its Lab Products & Services consist of premium laboratory instruments, consumables and services for research and quality assurance at pharma and biopharma companies and academic research institutes.
–Cybernews contributed to this report.