The Havana Club International S.A. (HCI) company’s San Jose de las Lajas rum factory in western Cuba is highly efficient, having maintained production targets to within 99.7% of those set by client demand during it’s nine year history, according to director of operations, Ernesto Castresana.

The Havana Club International S.A. (HCI) company’s San Jose de las Lajas rum factory in western Cuba is highly efficient, having maintained production targets to within 99.7% of those set by client demand during it’s nine year history, according to director of operations, Ernesto Castresana.The executive told The Havana Reporter that this modern industry gives Havana Club branded dark rums the highest standards in order to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of the domestic and international market.

Within a 21 hectare complex, the installation’s buildings occupy approximately 50,000 square meters comprising a distillery for the production of raw liquor, six units for barrel aging, a rum factory and two bottling lines, among others.

Castresana told how between launching operations in January 2007 and September 2015, the industry produced merchandise worth 538 million convertible Cuban pesos and amongst its best results is the provision of 10.7 million liters of bottled rum for both export and the domestic hard currency market.

The expert said that Havana Club Especial, Reserva, Ritual, 7 Años and Selección de Maestros are all part of the main range.

The operations director also said that between January 2007 and September 2015 the plant had produced 127.6 million bottles of rum and more than 29 million liters of distilled raw liquor.

During the same period it also produced 162 million liters of rum and aging foundation and that in excess of 140 million liters of foundation had been sent to and extracted from their units.

He considered that figures showing that 93% of maintenance works undertaken during this time were preventative, with only 5% being corrective, and that the remaining 2% were support or improvement related, indicated a distinctive level of industrial efficiency.

HCI growth projections focus on these lines with greater added value, a strategy that will be accompanied by new investments in the province of Mayabeque.

The company executive confirmed the existence of a joint project between the company and the Cuba Ron corporation to repair and upgrade the Santa Cruz del Norte factory and extend the San Jose de las Lajas factories, both found in Mayabeque. Studies underway indicate that the San Jose factory could double its current capacity in the coming years.

Equipped with modern infrastructure, the plant’s processes combine state of the art technology with more than 150 yearold traditional rum-making methods, and adheres to strict security, work safety and environmental protection standards.

The director outlined that the industrial complex operates under an Integrated Management System certified since May 2010, having attained ISO 9000, ISO 22 000, the OSHAS 18 000, and the Integrated Management System certification.

He added that since 2010 the brand’s full range conformed with Cuban Standard Regulation NC 113 and that in 2011 it attained the ISO 14 000 certificate which the bottling laboratory was granted with this year. In 2013 these certificates were validated as effective until 2016.

The decision to locate the factory in San Jose de las Lajas took into account the presence of one of the country’s most significant underground water reserves (Jaruco-Mamposton) and the fact that the province is one of the most industrialized in Cuba, he said.

The plant represents a key element of HCI’s expansion strategy based on increased capacity to produce high quality beverages.

Since its establishment in 1993, HCI has experienced a continuous 10-fold increase in sales, which the company executive said was an indication of sustained growth and solid future projections.

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