ONEVO LLC, a Miami-based manufacturer of insulated panels for concrete walls-floors-roofs and housing systems, is looking to open “one or more” plants in Puerto Rico that could potentially create 4,800 direct and indirect jobs.
On Sunday, company Director Fernando Fraiz and Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” through which the agency agreed to help ONEVO navigate through the various local government offices involved in the complex permitting and approval process required of businesses looking to set up shop locally.
The EDC will also help the company through the process of qualifying for the financial incentives that the government offers, among other benefits.
ONEVO’s plans call for establishing one or more manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico, to produce housing kits designed to provide maximum strength against hurricane and seismic events. Local production could be exported to countries like Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, or possibly used in the construction of low-cost housing on the island.
ONEVO produces an industrialized building system that can be implemented by architects in their projects as a series of panels or kits built to suit any design, company officials said.
Once established in Puerto Rico, ONEVO is proposing to integrate massive use of labor as an essential part of its production, which will generate approximately 1,200 direct jobs at each plant. Furthermore, given the need for companies that manufacture sub-components for the housing kits, ONEVO could potentially create about three indirect jobs for each direct job at its plant, which translates into 3,600 indirect jobs, company and government representatives said Sunday upon signing the MOU.
One of ONEVO Puerto Rico’s plants would be structured as a mixed-use concept that can accommodate producting individual panel walls, floor and roof components, with the goal of producing 10,000 housing kits a year.
Currently, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company is working on identifying possible locations in the western area, with the goal of spurring job creation in that part of the island that has soaring unemployment rates.
As part of the agreements included in the MOU, construction of the plant will start before the first anniversary of the signing of the final contract. However, that date was not revealed.