Plans afoot for multimillion-euro expansion at Janssen's Ringaskiddy facility

Plans afoot for multimillion-euro expansion at Janssen's Ringaskiddy facility

It is understood that the company intends to lodge a planning application with Cork County Council in the coming weeks. Pic; Larry Cummins.

PLANS are afoot for a multimillion-euro, 180-job, expansion project at Janssen Sciences Ireland’s facility at Ringaskiddy.

It is understood that the company intends to lodge a planning application with Cork County Council in the coming weeks.

The plans they propose would see the firm — which manufactures biomedicines at the facility — expand its existing footprint by approximately 2,500sq metres.

An information session about the proposed expansion project took place in recent days which was attended by local residents and community groups in the area.

Among those in attendance was local councillor, Seamus McGrath.

Cllr McGrath said that the meeting discussed the plans for expansion, which are understood to be with the view of improving production capacity.

He said that the company advised that if the project proceeds, it will represent a new investment of €150m and would result in 180 construction jobs and a further 180 operational jobs.

Speaking to The Echo, Cllr McGrath said that at the meeting “they talked us through the proposal, and they hope to go in for planning in the next few weeks.”

'An endorsement in the area'

Cllr McGrath described the proposal as “positive”.

“It was positive news in the sense of investment in the area and so on.”

He said it is great to see Janssen investing in the plant and noted the significance of the additional jobs.

“I think it’s quite positive news.

“It’s an endorsement in the area and in the facility there by the company to be investing a further €150m after a significant investment only a short couple of years ago.

“I welcome the fact the company is quite open about it and invited residents in to see the proposals in advance of a planning application.”

He added that the intention appears to be to proceed “quite quickly” with the plans.

“Overall, it is good, and 180 jobs is certainly welcome.”

Cllr McGrath noted the one issue that does come up is traffic.

However, he said a lot of thought has gone into the construction and the traffic management under the proposal.

“Infrastructure in the area is an ongoing challenge in terms of the level of traffic that is using it and that’s something that all stakeholders need to work on — Council, TII [Transport Infrastructure Ireland] and the local industries.”

He said there is a need to improve public transport links and also progress the Greenway proposal to Ringaskiddy.

Janssen has operated a biopharmaceutical supply chain facility in Ringaskiddy since 2005.

Back in 2019, the company opened a new manufacturing building at the site. This development increased the company’s production capacity by an additional 19,100sq m and created 200 new full-time jobs.

Core elements of the project 

In the documentation presented to the meeting, the company says that the latest proposed expansion project would “add to Janssen’s global manufacturing capacity” giving it the ability to reach its patients with crucial biomedicines faster.

The core elements of the proposed project would include the modification and expansion of the existing site infrastructure including utilities, car parking, underground services, and internal roads, yards, and pipe racks.

Janssen said that the construction phase of the proposed development would result in “a minimal increase in traffic volumes during the baseline traffic peaks of 7am to 9:15am and 4:30pm to 7pm”.

They also said that a Construction Traffic Impact Assessment has been prepared and a Construction Traffic Management plan will be submitted to Cork County Council.

The proposed Construction Traffic Management includes construction staff arrival and departure times, construction delivery vehicle routing and construction site access.

If planning permission is granted, it said it is proposed that construction is set to get underway in the first quarter of next year with the work set to finish by the third quarter of 2023.

The documents said that 180 people would be employed on average during the construction phase with around 300 people working during the peak construction period.

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