UltraPure Systems: Five Years of Exponential Growth

December 23, 2004
By CB Staff
Caribbean Business

In just five years, UltraPure Systems, Inc. has accomplished more than any other companies ever achieve.

In 1999, Chicago Bridge & Iron decided to establish a Puerto Rico subsidiary that would specialize in the manufacture and installation of high-purity process systems for the island's biopharmaceutical industry.

The multinational firm hired Cesar Roca as general manager and gave him the task of setting up the operation in Puerto Rico. From a makeshift office on his kitchen table, the civil engineer laid the ground work for the company. Not long after, fellow engineer Lucas Ramirez joined Roca and quickly became an integral part of the core team that would help launch UltraPure.

By mid-2001, the Vega Baja-based company had grown from its original two-employee operation to a staff of 125 and had registered more than 20.4 million in sales. In June of that year, Roca and a local investment group bought out UltraPure's parent company and became a locally owned and operated business.

Not long after the sale, Roca who became UltraPure's president & CEO, announced the company's intention to become a manufacturing plant for custom-engineered process skids for the biopharmaceutical industry. At the time he, he said this decision to expand the company's range resulted from the realization that there were no local companies making the skids in Puerto Rico, even though there were many pharmaceutical operations on the island. "We knew we could meet the local demand for the product, eventually put Puerto Rico on the global map as a manufacturer of quality process skids, and install them anywhere in the world," recalled Roca.

Three years later, UltraPure Systems has indeed accomplished its objective of becoming the island's first skids producer with modularization capabilities and the largest orbital welding specialty contractor in the Caribbean. It has more than doubled its jworkforce to 300 employees, while its annual sales have risen from about $12 million in 2001 to $24 million by the end of this year. The company is in the process of realizing its long-term goal of expanding its reach to the global market as it prepares to open its third factory early next year.