Sartorius resumed operations despite challenges from Fiona

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The bioscience company Sartorius, in Yauco, reported that it resumed full operations last Wednesday, after the passage of the hurricane fiona required them to make minor repairs and sanitize manufacturing areas.

In the case of Yauco, the eye passed very close. We did not have any structural or major damage”, indicated the chief of operations Luis Lora.

In interview with Business, Lora explained that last Tuesday, personnel in charge of the facilities were activated to verify what should be done. They identified where water had entered the metal roof and the proper repair was made.

Then the tasks of “rigorous cleaning, which involves some chemical applications and everything was done with the proper protections and documentation” were carried out, Lora added. Once they validated that the production areas were suitable, the manufacturing process of the biomedical products they manufacture, such as bags and filters for the biopharmaceutical industry, was reactivated.

“I want to thank all the Sartorius employees. Their commitment has been tremendous”, expressed Lora about the direct employment of more than 1,500 people.

without water or electricity

The operation, so far, is running with emergency generators, but water service was also interrupted last week due to the failure of the generator at the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) plant, Lora said.

Therefore, in parallel, Lora shared that The plant’s engineers and technicians were “doing work together with PRASA and the municipality of Yauco to get the water plant running, so that it could once again supply the municipality and also Sartorius.”

The executive added that the company even considered renting a generator if the AAA generator could not be started up.

Meanwhile, to support the employees and their families, Lora indicated that since the end of last week they began to have ice available at the plant and to distribute bottled water and other supplies to nearby communities.

“We are knocking on doors with different gasoline suppliers to see if we can make some kind of agreement,” he said about the initiative that would seek to facilitate access to fuel for those employees who have emergency generators.

For now, he stressed that they maintain a “very good relationship” with their diesel supplier Peerless Oil, located in Peñuelas. “It is a very important part of keeping us operating,” he concluded.

What does Sartorius make?

Sartorius operates a two million square foot plant, where it manufactures essential products for the biopharmaceutical industry.

The manufacture of filters, membranes and bags includes products that reach 80% of the 180 companies that are involved in the production of vaccines against COVID-19 worldwide.

In 2019 and supported by an investment of $100 million, the company doubled its production capacity in Yauco.

Since then it has also been growing its workforce from year to year.

Expanding Matrix

This trend in the Puerto Rico plant is consistent with the growth trajectory of the parent company, which reported having invested 400 million euros ($384 million at current exchange rates) in 2021 just to increase its manufacturing capacity.

Globally, Sartorius has more than 15,000 employees at 60 locations in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

In their portfolio, they include products for cell and protein analysis, fermentation, culture media, filtration and purification, fluid management, chromatography and dispensing, among others.

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