With an investment of more than $12 million, the director of Sales & Marketing of the company Edmundo B. Fernández, Inc., Eduardo Bacardí, announced the new expansion plan that will increase the production and export capacity by 400 percent of the well-known brand Ron del Barrilito.
"With this additional investment of $12 million, we reaffirm our commitment to Puerto Rico and Ron del Barrilito to maintain the artisanal production and its original formula, created in the 19th century by Don Pedro Fernández. Now, in this expansion phase, we will reach another level, increasing production, storage and aging capacity for export by 400 percent," he explained.
In 2017, Edmundo B. Fernández, Inc. focused on the renovation and updating of the production and operations part, the construction of the Ron del Barrilito Visitor Center and the launch of three new products such as Ron del Barrilito Cinco Estrellas, Ron del Barrilito Cuatro Stars-Edition of the Hacienda, and the Hacienda Santa Ana Rum.
This three-year expansion plan includes the purchase of more than 28,000 barrels of “Oloroso” White Oak imported from Spain, which were previously used to make sherry, an important part of the formula for the oldest rum in Puerto Rico.
In addition, new equipment will be acquired to handle the additional production, such as three 25,000-gallon tanks for raw material storage, forklifts, industrial shelves, pumping stations, alternate power generation system, quality laboratories, among others. With this expansion plan, Ron del Barrilito will generate 40 percent additional direct jobs.
"We are pleased to be part of the Ron del Barrilito expansion. This plan to expand its export capacity to the United States is backed by $6 million from the Manufacturing Incentive Fund used by the Industrial Development Company and destined to strengthen strategic industrial sectors of Puerto Rico, as is definitely our rum industry," said Manuel Laboy, secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym).
Meanwhile, Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera congratulated the company for its success, and said that the Hacienda Santa Ana and the Ron del Barrilito factory have become great tourism assets for the municipality of Bayamón and has added an immeasurable value in promoting both the city and its economy.
"This Hacienda is a historical icon that preserves and projects the centennial tradition of the oldest rum in Puerto Rico and as a municipality we reiterate our commitment to support this type of initiative that contributes to the progress of our city of Bayamón," the mayor said.
The factory and Visitor Center hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The use of masks is required and the guided tours have to meet certain additional requirements to protect employees and visitors against COVID-19.
For more information or to make reservations. visit www.rondelbarrilito.com or call (787) 415-8601.