The Merck plant in Carrigtwohill received a €36 million investment in 2021 and currently employs 750 people.

Merck to create a further 370 jobs in Cork

A science and technology company has announced a €440 million investment in two sites in Cork which will create 370 new jobs.

German multinational science and technology company Merck plans to significantly expand its membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill and to build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park.

The company already employs 750 people at its plant in Carrigtwohill.

The investment, which is the largest in a single site ever for Merck’s Life Science business sector, will create more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.

Commenting on the announcement, Belén Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck said the investment in Cork will further enhance the value that Merck can deliver to customers through the development and production of specialized medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.

Matthias Heinzel, Member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Life Science, added: “Ireland is central to our strategy to drive long-term growth and expand our global leadership position in Life Science.

“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.”

At Blarney Business Park, Merck plans to build a new filtration manufacturing facility at a cost of approximately €150 million. Once fully operational, it will increase the company’s global manufacturing capacity and supply customers producing both traditional and novel treatments and therapeutics.

With an expansion of more than €290 million in Carrigtwohill, Merck is adding a manufacturing facility for the immersion casting of membranes. These membranes support novel and gene therapies, as well as applications like virus sterilisation.

Welcoming today’s announcement was Taoiseach Micheál Martin: “I welcome today’s very significant announcement from Merck, which underlines the company’s commitment to doing business in Ireland. This investment speaks volumes about our capacity to provide the right conditions for multinational organizations 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.”

The announcement follows a €36 million investment at the same site in 2021 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.

Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber commented on the announcement: "This a landmark investment and a major vote of confidence in Cork as a centre of excellence for life sciences and as the location of choice for leading global companies in this sector.”

“These investments will provide a major jobs boost to the city, county and region and are testament to the confidence that this global company has in the ability of our city region to continue to deliver the right environment for growth.”