Wednesday 26 July 2017

€200m U-turn by Eli Lilly to create hundreds of jobs

Pharma giant's management get green light for major expansion at Irish site

IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Maxwell photography
IDA chief Martin Shanahan. Photo: Maxwell photography

Dearbhail McDonald and Colm Kelpie

US pharma giant Eli Lilly is to proceed with a €200m expansion at its Kinsale manufacturing site in Co Cork, in a major boost for the Government following a series of Brexit-related losses.

Senior management in Ireland were informed in recent days that Eli Lilly's global board had given the green light for the project, which will create hundreds of new jobs in addition to the 500 people already employed in Kinsale.

It was feared last February that Eli Lilly's planned investment into Ireland had fallen victim to US President Donald Trump's 'America First' policy, which has seen many US multinationals - especially pharmaceutical and tech companies - stall or cancel their overseas investments.

However, the company has confirmed that it is moving forward "with the next phase of capacity expansion at our Kinsale manufacturing site in Co Cork".

"This phase involves the construction of an additional production line at Kinsale and will increase the manufacturing capacity of the site's biologics campus," said Eli Lilly in a brief statement.

Confirmation of Eli Lilly's expansion comes as a senior delegation, led by IDA chief Martin Shanahan, pictured, travels to London this week to woo British and international investors to Ireland. Dublin has lost out to a number of other European capitals in the race for post-Brexit spoils from the City of London. US insurer AIG dealt an early blow to Ireland's post-Brexit ambitions after it announced in March that it was opening an operation in Luxembourg to write business across the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

UK insurer Lloyd's has chosen Brussels, while Standard Chartered opted for Frankfurt. "Competition for foreign investment has never been more intense," said Shanahan who will be joined on the investor blitz by Ann Nolan, second secretary general at the Department of Finance and Gerry Cross, the Central Bank's director of policy and risk.

"This event in London will allow over 200 potential investors to access information directly on why they should choose Ireland as a location for their business," he said.

"Despite the changing political and economic landscape, IDA Ireland's mission remains the same - our job is to fight and win investment for Ireland. Employment in foreign investors in Ireland is currently at record levels."

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