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Merck investing $80M in Las Piedras plant expansion

Merck employs 400 people in Las Piedras.

Merck Puerto Rico announced it will invest some $80 million over the next year to expand production capabilities at its Las Piedras manufacturing plant.

The expansion includes installing new technologies and manufacturing equipment at the plant to support the continued growth of the company’s diabetes franchise around the world.

“This significant investment is a sign of the commitment and confidence that Merck has in [the] Puerto Rico operations and will bring a significant amount of production to the Las Piedras plant,” said Miguel Pagán, general manager of Merck Puerto Rico Pharmaceutical Operations.

“The expansion will help the company meet demand for our growing diabetes franchise, as well as other key therapeutic areas that are driving the company’s growth,” he added.

The Las Piedras plant, which opened in 1985, currently employs about 400 people and is a strategic site within Merck’s global manufacturing network that produces medicines for markets worldwide. The manufacturing site is making the necessary investments to begin producing Janumet XR, a treatment for Type II diabetes.

The company’s payroll is expected to remain the same, although the expansion guarantees the permanence of the plant in a town that just last week had to deal with the announcement of job cutbacks by another manufacturing resident, McNeil. The latter pharmaceutical will be eliminating 225 slots as it focuses on complying with correcting deficiencies detected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The government of Puerto Rico is pleased to continue to support Merck with different types of incentives to further stimulate the investment of new production and technologies at the company’s facilities in Puerto Rico, and to promote employment for our skilled workforce,” said José R. Pérez-Riera, Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce.

“With this $80 million expansion by Merck to produce one of the company’s key products in Puerto Rico, we are pleased [it] is once more demonstrating its confidence in Puerto Rico and [in] its highly productive workforce to produce a world-class manufacturing platform,” he said. “This new $80 million investment adds to last year’s investment at the Las Piedras site to total more than $120 million of new company investment in Puerto Rico.”

Merck has a second plant in Barceloneta.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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