Copan Industries, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, revealed that it will expand its Puerto Rico operations with an investment of $78 million, projected to raise the enterprise's existing 100 jobs to 352 by the end of the phase.
Of the multimillion-dollar investment, $9 million were identified for construction, while the remaining expenses will be used to acquire machinery and equipment. The company is located in Aguadilla in a building owned by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco).
"The establishment of our company in Puerto Rico has proven to be fertile ground for the expansion and growth of our business globally," said Stefania Triva, president of COPAN Group.
Manuel Cidre, secretary-designate of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym), reported that the agency approved $23 million in incentives, of which $1,008,000 are aimed at recruiting employees and roughly $22 million to buy equipment.
While the local auto industry is starting to feel the effects
By accepting the incentives, the company is obliged to maintain its plant in Puerto Rico for five years with a total of 352 employees between existing jobs and new hirees. Cidre explained that these incentives will rebound on the local economy in approximately three years.
The incentive for new jobs will be paid annually based on the average number of jobs created in the year ended. Meanwhile, the incentive for the purchase of equipment and machinery will help Copan establish new manufacturing lines in Aguadilla. These incentives will be reimbursed at a rate of 25 percent of the company's investment.
In a missive, the company affirmed that the project is "of utmost importance in the fight against COVID-19" because it manufactures the swab used for sampling the coronavirus. Copan's plans involve occupying the entire leased building and adding more space.
More Opportunities for Professionals
According to Cidre, "this expansion will help more professionals to have job opportunities, stay here and contribute to the economic development of our island, which is part of the public policy of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi."
Likewise, Pierluisi stated that "our administration's commitment is to invest the resources and efforts necessary for the promotion and retention of first-rate operations like this one. Manufacturing companies represent an important component of the economy as they contribute to the creation and retention of jobs. We are proud of the talent that exists in Puerto Rico and we are confident in the continued success and commitment of Copan Industries to the island."
For his part, Efraín Rodríguez -COO of Copan Industries Inc. in Puerto Rico-, attributed the company's success on the island to "the highly qualified workforce, in addition to the ability of interest to learn and develop from our excellent human capital," as well the business opportunities available for manufacturing in U.S. soil.
The news came just as Hewlett Packard informed that it will cease its operations in Aguadilla by 2022, eliminating 400 jobs in the process.
"We are extremely pleased that Copan Industries, three years after being established in Puerto Rico, has embarked on a multi-million dollar expansion and is committed to creating new jobs in the western region. It is demonstrated that the Puerto Rican workforce has the expertise and capacity to manufacture medical devices and Copan reaffirms its confidence in Puerto Rico by undertaking this expansion. We wish you success in this new stage," Cidre said.
Copan, founded in 1979 by Giorgio Triva in Italy and grown globally with Daniele Triva, is heralded as a world leader in the collection and transportation of analytics serving the scientific fields of microbiology and medicine. It also provides specialized services and products to improve the health of patients. Copan holds the patents for FLOQSwabs®, Eswab® and UTM® Viral Transport, among other highly recognized products used worldwide. Currently, Copan Group is made up of six companies: Copan Italia, Copan Flock Technologies, Copan NewLab Engineering, Copan Diagnostics, Inc., Copan Wasp and Copan Medical Shanghai Limited.