Merck invests more than €440m in major Cork expansion set to create hundreds of jobs

The investment in Cork marks the largest site investment in the history of the company’s life science business.
Merck invests more than €440m in major Cork expansion set to create hundreds of jobs

Leading science and technology company Merck has today announced an approximate €440m expansion of its facilities in Cork, creating more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.

Leading science and technology company Merck has today announced an approximate €440m expansion of its facilities in Cork, creating more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.

The investment in Cork marks the largest site investment in the history of the company’s life science business.

At Blarney Business Park, Merck is going to build a new filtration manufacturing facility for almost €150m.

Once fully operational, it will increase Merck’s global manufacturing capacity and supply customers producing both traditional and novel treatments and therapeutics.

In Carrigtwohill, more than €290m is being invested to develop a manufacturing facility for the immersion casting of membranes. 

These membranes support novel and gene therapies, as well as applications like virus sterilisation, plasma separation and finger prick rapid testing.

The membranes also serve the process solutions business, which is one of the ‘big three’ growth drivers for Merck.

Process solutions markets products and services for the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain.

Speaking at the site’s official announcement, Taoiseach Micheál Martin welcomed the significant investment which he said underlines the company’s commitment to doing business in Ireland.

“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.

“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,” Mr Martin continued.

Matthias Heinzel, a member of the executive board and CEO of the life science business of Merck, said Ireland is central to the company’s strategy to drive long-term growth.

“The investment in Cork is the biggest site investment in the history of our life science business and will accelerate the delivery of the critical products, technologies and services our customers need to fight the world’s toughest health challenges, including Covid-19,” he continued.

Martin McAuliffe, managing director and head of Cork operations at Merck, said today’s announcement is “a testament to the capability, hard work and dedication” of the company’s staff in Cork.

“Beyond that, it is 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.” 

Speaking from Davos today, IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan also welcomed the announcement.

“This announcement demonstrates the continued growth and success of Ireland’s life sciences sector and indeed IDA Ireland’s continued commitment to winning jobs and investment for regional locations.

“These developments in Carrigtwohill and Blarney will have a significant positive economic impact on the South West region, during the initial construction period and also with the number of full-time roles that will be created as a result of the expansion,” he said.

Today’s announcement follows a €36m investment at Merck’s site in Carrigtwohill last year for a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing product line.

Now formally open, this facility produces lateral flow membranes, most commonly used in rapid diagnostic testing for rare diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and Ebola.

They are also a key component in rapid antigen tests, which are used for the detection of Covid-19.

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