LIMERICK has received a massive jobs boost with confirmation that a major company is to locate its new manufacturing facility at a city site.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation has chosen the National Technology Park, Castletroy, as the location for its new permanent facility, with up to 600 expected to be employed when it is complete.

The company, headquartered in Irvine, California, USA, plans to complete the new, 170,000 square feet facility by 2021. Once it is fully operational, the company expects it will employ approximately 600 people with an investment in the project of around €80 million.

The facility is expected to manufacture delivery components for its transcatheter heart valve therapies. Edwards already employs a number of people at a unit in the Shannon Free Zone but had been examining a number of sites to locate the permanent manufacturing facility.

Nathan Tenzer, Plant General Manager, Edwards Lifesciences, said: “The site we have selected to base our operations in Ireland was chosen for many reasons, but one main attraction for us was the wealth of experienced talent available with the skills we require in the medical technology sector.

“This plant is an integral part of our global supply strategy with locations in the United States and elsewhere, to support our future growth and reliability of supply as we serve patients worldwide. We would like to thank the Government and the IDA for the support we have received on this journey to date, and we look forward to our continued engagement in the local community.”

Minister Heather Humphreys said the location of the plant in Castletroy “is wonderful news for the local community, as it will bring significant investment into the area as well as the wider Mid-West region.

“It is a vote of confidence in the region to have a global leader in the Medtech sector, like Edwards, located here. My Department, through the IDA, is committed to supporting Edwards as it establishes its operations in Ireland and as it continues to develop its innovative heart valve technologies.”

Over 60 people, production staff, engineering and professional management are expected to be employed at Edwards Lifesciences’ initial site in the Shannon Free Zone, which opened in August if this year.

Pictured at Edwards site in Shannon on a previous occasion are Martin Shanahan IDA, Minister Pat Breen, John McGrath, Minister Heather Humphreys and Joe Nuzzolese

Once the new facility is fully operational, the company expects it will employ approximately 600 people in roles ranging from leadership opportunities, planning, quality control, assembly, engineering and finance.

Pat Breen, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection said: “This new purpose-built facility shows the long-term ambitions Edwards Lifesciences has for its operations in the Mid-West. The development also reflects the many advantages this region holds, in terms of talent, infrastructure and an enterprising environment. We wish the company ongoing success and will look forward to seeing its progress in the years ahead.”

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr James Collins, Mayor of Limerick City and County said it was “a huge endorsement of the Limerick city region and its ability to attract global leaders in the Life Sciences sector to set up here, it also further cements Limerick’s reputation as a go-to location for companies wishing to innovate and expand.

“The eco-system in Limerick centered around co-operation between the local authority, state agencies and education providers has once again proven to be a winner for companies looking at investing in Ireland. I can assure the company of the continuing support of Limerick City and County Council.”

CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said: “I said at the time this project was announced back in March that an investment of this scale was terrific news for the Mid-West Region and for Ireland. The decision on location paves the way for construction of this new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

“The construction jobs will be of substantial value to the local economy while the 600 new roles that will be created when the facility is fully operational will be of enormous benefit to the entire region. Having Edwards Lifesciences, a global leader in its field, based in the Mid-West greatly supports the region’s reputation.”