German pharmaceutical Sartorius Stedim Biotech inaugurated Tuesday its new $20 million expansion at its Yauco plant, completed some 14 months after it announced plans to increase its presence in Puerto Rico.
On hand for the inauguration were Gov. Luis Fortuño and a contingent of government officials who participated in the ceremony to unveil the new facilities of the company that has been in Yauco for 30 years.
“A year after visiting the facility to break ground, today we see the fruit of a company that bet on our vision of economic expansion in Puerto Rico and more importantly, bet on our people,” said Fortuño, noting the expansion created 272 new jobs, split between 125 for the construction phase and 147 permanent company positions.
In exchange for the investment, Pridco will give Sartorius a $5,000-per-job incentive and $1.6 million to cover a portion of the construction costs and other technical services, government officials said last year.
Sartorius Stedim Biotech’s Yauco campus spans four buildings owned by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company totaling 87,000 square feet.
Since establishing its local operation, the Yauco operation has grown to become the leading supplier of filtration systems for the company and supplier of finished separation units for the urban market. In 2000, the local Sartorius operations also incorporated validation services for the Americas market. Five years ago, Sartorius transferred the product distribution center for the Americas to Yauco.
The expansion will house the filtration systems manufacturing line to supply the biotechnology industry. Those facilities will also be producing materials used by all pharmaceutical in Puerto Rico and many worldwide, Fortuño said.
“This production was based in California and the company moved it to Yauco, which shows the commitment Sartorius has to Puerto Rico,” he said.
Sartorius Stedim Biotech’s expanded wing is also environmentally sound, incorporating “green” elements to use 22 percent less energy, harness solar power to generate 9 percent of the energy consumed, and collect rainwater to reduce consumption by 85 percent.