iPR Pharmaceuticals, a part of AstraZeneca, has become the first pharmaceutical plant in Puerto Rico to operate a co-generation facility fueled by liquid natural gas that reduces its carbon footprint and paves the way for greater sustainability, company officials said.
The $5.6 million LNG co-generation facility supports the energy needs of the pharmaceutical plant.
“The LNG co-generation facility embodies our commitment to sustainability, as a corporate citizen we are the forefront of sustainability efforts,” said Pam Cheng, executive vice-president, operations and information technology of AstraZeneca.
The company ranked third in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index of 2018, a list it has been on for the past 16 years, it confirmed.
“We’re proud to be the first pharmaceutical company in Puerto Rico to establish a natural gas co-generation plant,” said Ileana Quiñones, general manager for iPR Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Quiñones explained that her team was inspired by AstraZeneca’s sustainability goals and submitted a proposal to the AstraZeneca Sustainability Fund to finance a project that aimed to reduce the carbon footprint by approximately 40 percent.
When the proposal was approved in 2015, they immediately began the planning process. By 2018, they were able to launch the operation, which has been fully operational since the second half of this year, executives said.
“We’re focused on providing safe, effective pharmaceutical products to our patients in a more sustainable way,” Quiñones said. “The cogeneration plant is just one more step on our journey to greater sustainability.”
She added that the project has also increased engagement among employees, who stand behind the company’s actions to reduce environmental impact.
Rosselló, gov’t officials invited to inauguration ceremony
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and other administration and industry officials were on hand to participate in an inauguration ceremony of the facility Tuesday.
“We feel extremely satisfied to witness the inauguration of these facilities, as AstraZeneca sets the pace in being an innovative manufacturing company, while taking firm action on reducing carbon emissions,” said Rosselló.
“We thank iPR Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca for trusting in the solid recovery of Puerto Rico and for laying the foundation so that other companies can also generate production on the Island while raising awareness of their environmental impact,” he said.
“The million-dollar investment that they carried out in Puerto Rico also contributes to the local economy, something that we need to continue developing,” the governor said.
“This event proves that for several years the industrial sector has been working to create resilient and eco-friendly energy production systems,” said Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel Laboy.
“With this cogeneration plant, AstraZeneca reaffirms its commitment to Puerto Rico,” he said.
iPR Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical solid dosage manufacturer that is part of AstraZeneca, which has been operating in Puerto Rico since 1986.