Pharmaceutical giant Lilly says Limerick beat off strong competition from all over the world to become the site of its new €400m manufacturing plant.
The new site in Limerick will be the company’s third in Ireland and its fifth in Europe.
It is expected to create 300 new permanent jobs in the regions and 500 new jobs during construction.
On Breakfast Business this morning, Eli Lilly Senior Vice President Darin Moody said Limerick was chosen after a “global evaluation of potential manufacturing sites”.
“We looked at everything from workforce availability in the area to the strength and proximity of universities – as pharmaceutical manufacturing relies heavily on scientists, engineers, technicians and operators,” he said.
“We looked at infrastructure and transportation; we looked at the economic environment and we looked at the presence of partnerships between industry and universities and communities.
“Obviously, we have a 40-year history of manufacturing in Ireland, so we know this area quite well and that also, I think, was influential in our decision to expand our presence here and really continue to build on our 40-year legacy of manufacturing in Ireland.”
Lilly’s European footprint is growing! We are very proud to announce a €400 million investment in a second manufacturing site in Ireland 🇮🇪. Our new plant in Limerick will become our 5th in the 🇪🇺. Read more here https://t.co/lC5hB1rrFu pic.twitter.com/SHNV9vBRaB
— LillyPad EU (@LillyPadEU) January 28, 2022
The company said Ireland has established itself as a centre of excellence in life sciences and biopharmaceutical manufacturing over the years.
It said the new facility will “play a key role in bringing Lilly’s robust clinical pipeline, including its promising Alzheimer’s portfolio, to patients around the world”.
Mr Moody said the Limerick facility will ensure the company has a strong cluster of operations in the southwest.
“When you look at our manufacturing presence in Kinsale and you look at our Cork shared service centre, between those two operations we have over 2,000 employees,” he said.
“So, moving into the Limerick area enables us to extend our reach but still operate at some level of proximity and really further leverage our brand and our presence in Ireland – which will support our future growth.
“It also gives us access to an additional labour pool which is important as well and great access to transportation hubs.”
He said the new facility will be “state-of-the-art” that will make use of robots to automate aspects of the manufacturing process.
“One example would be a small wheel vehicle that transports material form one location to another, following a pre-described pathway between two locations in the building,” he said.
“So, it could be a small wheeled cart but it smart in that it goes from point A to point B and either drops off something or picks up something.”
IDA Chief Martin Shanahan said the investment is “very welcome news for the Mid-West region and indeed, Ireland”.
Lilly already employs more than 2,300 people in cork.