Germany’s Merck Invests €440 million in Ireland

24.05.2022 - The Life Science segment of Germany’s Merck is investing around €440 million to increase membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities in Ireland’s County Cork. The plans call for adding capacity at an existing plant in Carrigtwohill and building a new plant in Blarney Business Park.

Merck said the expansion of the Carrigtwohill facility to the tune of €290 million will create new capacity for immersion casting of membranes. At Blarney, the Darmstadt group will spend nearly €150 million on a new filtration manufacturing plant. The dual project, which will add altogether more than 370 permanent jobs to the Irish workforce by the end of 2027 is the Life Science segment’s biggest ever at a regional site, said Merck CEO Belén Garijo.

Both businesses supply customers producing traditional as well as novel treatments and therapeutics. The membranes also serve the Process Solutions business, which is one of Merck’s “Big 3” growth drivers, marketing products and services for the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain.

No start-up date for either of the two new projects has been announced. In 2021, Merck budgeted €36 million for a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing line at Carrigtwohill. This makes products commonly used in rapid diagnostic testing for rare diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and Ebola as well as the rapid antigen tests used to detect Covid‑19.

As a step toward boosting group sales to around €25 million by 2025, Merck plans to widen total capital spending “significantly” over the next five years. The Life Science segment plans to continue to invest in products and technology key to novel therapies and vaccine.

The group as a whole is continuously expanding output of products for water consumption, waste management and energy efficiency toward meeting its goal of climate neutrality by 2040. Target countries for capital spending projects include Germany, China, France, Switzerland, Ireland and the US.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist