A $12-million expansion plan is underway for Ron del Barrilito, to increase production and exports, said Eduardo Bacardí, sales and marketing director for producer Edmundo B. Fernández Inc.
The investment will help increase production volume by 400%, he said.
“This expansion phase takes us to a higher level by increasing our production, storage, and aging capacity for export by 400% to meet the growing demand for our products in the continental United States as well as internationally,” said Bacardí.
In 2017, Edmundo B. Fernández Inc. turned its attention to renewing and updating its production and operation areas, building the recently-inaugurated Ron del Barrilito Visitor Center and launching three new products: Ron del Barrilito Five Stars, Ron del Barrilito Four Stars – Hacienda Edition, and its first overproof rum, Ron Hacienda Santa Ana.
The three-year expansion plan includes the purchase of more than 28,000 “Oloroso” White Oak barrels, imported from Spain and previously used to make sherry –a vital part in the formula to produce Puerto Rico’s oldest rum.
To manage the increased production, three new 25,000-gallon tanks will be acquired to store prime raw material, along with other industrial equipment, such as forklifts, industrial racks, pumping stations, alternate power generation systems, and quality laboratories, among others, he said.
This expansion plan will help Ron del Barrilito create 40% additional direct jobs, and will receive a $6 million injection from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company Manufacturing Incentive Fund to support export activity.
“We’ll continue to support this industry, which annually brings more than $300 million to the local economy and generates around 700 direct jobs at rum distilleries throughout the island,” Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy said.