US medtech giant Abbott Laboratories is investing €440 million in Ireland with plans for a major new manufacturing plant in Kilkenny and additional jobs in Donegal.
The expansion, first reported in The Irish Times and due to be announced on Friday, will mean the company adds 1,000 jobs to its Irish workforce and make the State a leader in the production of high-tech diabetes glucose monitoring devices.
The company’s Freestyle Libre 3 glucose monitors allow diabetes patients to avoid carrying out finger-prick tests several times a day to check glucose levels.
Abbott said the decision to invest in Ireland comes as a result of the “rapid growth” of the company’s Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring systems, which it says are now used by more than four million people living with diabetes across more than 60 countries.
Recruitment will start immediately for jobs at what the company says will be a global manufacturing centre of excellence for the Freestyle Libre 3 system. Subject to planning approval, it hopes to open the new plant in 2024.
The new jobs will be in the areas of engineering, quality control, medical device manufacturing and other science-based areas.
The announcement marks a significant investment in Ireland by the US group, which already employs 5,000 people across a number of businesses in all four provinces.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the investment by Abbott in Donegal and Kilkenny was hugely welcome news.
“Abbott has a long and successful history [in Ireland] and this new investment is a great vote of confidence in the workforce here, and in this country as a place to invest,” he said.
IDA Ireland executive director Mary Buckley described the announcement for a new greenfield manufacturing facility in Kilkenny as a “significant and transformative investment” and “fantastic news for the southeast region and for Ireland”.
The Irish investment is just part of a global expansion by Abbott, which is the market leader in new tech diabetes glucose monitoring systems. The group is also investing further at its site in the Oxfordshire town of Witney in England.