Coloplast Plans $80M Medical Devices Plant Expansion In Costa Rica 

Renewable energy, workforce availability were critical in Coloplast's decision to open its second medical devices plant in the La Lima Free Zone Industrial Park in Cartago. 

In Cartago, Costa Rica, Coloplast recently celebrated the opening its second medical device production center in the La Lima Free Zone (LLFZ) Industrial Park. The facility is an expansion of the Danish ostomy care and continence care company’s Costa Rican investment, valued at a total of $80 million. With this latest expansion, the company will employ approximately 450 employees by the end of 2022, twice as many employees as the previous year.

Coloplast is the first Danish company within Costa Rica’s medical cluster and the only ostomy product manufacturer in the country. Its Costa Rican location plays a valuable role in optimizing productivity to help more than two million people around the world with their healthcare needs. The company’s goal is to grow globally — between 7% and 9% year-over-year — towards 2025 to meet growing demand in the more than 130 markets in which it operates.

Coloplast opened its first facility in Costa Rica last September as part of its national development strategy. The new facility will manufacture a selection of products complementary to the company’s ostomy portfolio.

Coloplast Costa Rica 
Coloplast is the first Danish company within Costa Rica’s medical cluster and the only ostomy product manufacturer in the country. (Photo: CINDE, Invest In Costa Rica)

Coloplast’s global network now includes 10 plants in eight countries.  Currently, Costa Rica represents around 2% of the company’s global production. This figure is expected to increase to around 25% by 2025, according to Rudolf Ottófi, general manager of Coloplast Costa Rica.

“As our operation in Costa Rica grows, we will have a greater capacity for providing innovative products and services that make a difference in our end users’ quality of life,” said Ottófi. “In this regard, Costa Rica offers us various strategic advantages that drive our plans with a view to 2025. We are close to the United States — a key market for Coloplast and where we hope to expand in coming years. Additionally, both plants in Cartago will be connected to the country’s electricity grid, supplied 99% by renewable sources. This supports Coloplast’s sustainability goal to, by 2025, use 100% renewable energy in its production.”

Coloplast launched its first Cartago operations in 2019; the company estimates that it will create 700 jobs before 2025, including operators, technicians, administrative staff, and positions in quality management, the supply chain, and logistics.

As a new and specialized industry, the company has a training plan for developing both the technical skills and the soft skills necessary for each position. Under an on-the-job training methodology, the staff is motivated to “learn by doing,” with the support and supervision of an experienced employee. Thanks to this program, a total of 62 people, mostly technicians and operators, have traveled to Hungary to train in the manufacturing processes carried out in Cartago.

In addition, since 2021 Coloplast has been part of the LLFZ alliance to support labor market opportunities for people in vulnerable conditions who live near the industrial park. Via this platform, the company collaborated with the VM Institute to train 53 people in the areas of medical manufacturing operations and electromechanical technician skills. At the end of the training, Coloplast hired 100% of the candidates who participated in its recruitment process.