Friday 20 October 2017

Pharmaceutical firm's €330m investment to create 500 jobs

Eli Lilly staff react to yesterday's announcement that the bio-pharmaceutical firm is to expand its plant in Kinsale, Co Cork
Eli Lilly staff react to yesterday's announcement that the bio-pharmaceutical firm is to expand its plant in Kinsale, Co Cork
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A MAJOR expansion at a pharmaceutical plant will provide a double jobs boost -- with 300 construction jobs and 200 graduate positions.

Eli Lilly and Company, a global leader in pharmaceuticals, yesterday announced a €330m investment in its facility in Kinsale, Co Cork.

It is hoped the region will enjoy lucrative spin-offs from the construction jobs during a three-year building phase, and the 200 research and development jobs set to follow.

The project was last night hailed as a "landmark investment" and marks the sixth major IDA-backed industrial expansion in recent weeks.

The state-of-the-art plant is expected to be fully operational by 2016 -- and, at peak operations, will employ 200 graduates.

Eli Lilly -- which opened its first production plant in Ireland in 1981 -- sanctioned a previous €300m expansion of its Kinsale facility in 2006.

The company already employs 700 staff at its Kinsale, Co Cork, Dublin, and Sligo operations.

The new plant will spearhead the manufacture of next-generation bio-pharmaceutical products.

Bio-pharmacy uses living organisms in the development of drugs.

The Kinsale plant already produces market-leading drugs for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and schizophrenia.

Most of the 200 jobs created at the plant will be graduate positions with salaries from €50,000 to €80,000.

The new €330m investment will also make the Kinsale campus one of the world's leading centres for bio-pharmaceutical production.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the investment represented a huge morale boost for the Irish economy.

"These are exactly the kind of projects that Ireland needs -- and these jobs will be a major boost as Ireland works on its economic recovery," he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Bruton said other projects were in the IDA pipeline following the announcement of 1,000 PayPal jobs in Dundalk last week.

He said the latest round of new jobs showed that Ireland remained attractive for overseas industrial development. Eli Lilly general manager Ed Canary said the investment represented an exciting new era for the Irish plant.

"This investment is an endorsement of the Lilly Kinsale site's success in developing a bio-pharmaceutical business in recent years and demonstrates our ability to rise to that challenge," he said.

IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary said it was "a great success story" for the firm and for Ireland. "This is further evidence that Ireland continues to position itself as a leading location of choice for the commercialisation and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals," he said.

Mayor of Cork Tim Lombard, of Fine Gael, said the new jobs would be of incalculable benefit to the Kinsale and greater Cork economy.

Irish Independent

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