Medicines maker Merck is to expand its Cork facilities, creating more than 370 jobs over five years.
The €440m investment will include an expansion of Merck’s facility at Carrigtwohill and a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park in Cork.
It is Merck’s largest ever investment in a single site and will create more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.
Merck’s life science sector manufactures novel therapies and vaccines, including viral and gene therapies.
The €290m expansion in Carrigtwohill will add a manufacturing facility for membranes, which are used for rapid diagnostic testing for rare diseases and rapid antigen tests.
It follows a €36m investment at the same site in 2021.
The Blarney Business Park investment of almost €150m will go towards building a new filtration manufacturing facility.
Merck aims to increase its group sales to approximately €25bn by 2025.
“This investment, the largest in the history of Merck Life Science, speaks volumes about our capacity to provide the right conditions for multinational organisations to grow their operations,” said Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
“Ireland’s development of a strong life sciences ecosystem has been one of our greatest economic successes. I am delighted that Merck has chosen Cork for its latest investment. I wish the team continued success, as they work towards improving lives around the world.”
Merck chief executive Matthias Heinzel said the investment would “accelerate the delivery of the critical products, technologies and services our customers need to fight the world’s toughest health challenges, including Covid-19”.
Merck’s managing director and head of Cork operations, Martin McAuliffe, said the investment was “a statement of Merck’s commitment to our Irish operations”.
“These new investments secure a bright future for Merck in Cork and enable us to expand our capabilities here, generating new employment opportunities in future technology.”
IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said the investments “will have a significant positive economic impact on the south-west region”.
“Merck’s decision to increase its footprint is tangible evidence of the company’s confidence in Ireland’s ability to provide access to world-class talent. I want to assure the team at Merck of IDA Ireland’s continued support and wish them every success with this major investment.”
Merck is also planning investment programmes in Germany, China, France, Switzerland, Ireland and the USA.