Pipelife Ireland’s acquisition of Cork Plastics has positioned the company as a world class manufacturing facility and a provider of top class products and services to the building sector


In 2021, Pipelife’s parent company Wienerberger acquired FloPlast and Cork Plastics, a move that has accelerated the company’s plans to enhance its portfolio of building and piping solutions and transform into a full-range system provider.


The acquisition also presented Pipelife with an opportunity to expand its market presence in both Ireland and the UK. Products within the Cork Plastics portfolio complement Pipelife’s existing range of products, with the additional advantage that they provide Pipelife Ireland with a solid sales presence in underground sewage and above ground soil products for the first time. The Cork Plastics range of Roofline products were also of particular interest to Pipelife’s parent company, Wienerberger, with its bricks, façade and roof tiles business.

According to Ger Healy, Managing Director at Pipelife, the acquisition of Cork Plastics and combined operation in Ireland presented an incredible opportunity to consolidate two manufacturing operations into one expanded location. Combined, the two businesses now make for the second biggest manufacturing operation in the Pipelife Group. An investment of €30 million has already commenced to expand and upgrade the existing Cork Plastics site in Little Island, Cork. By 2026, it’s expected that there will be 35 state-of-the-art extrusion lines incorporating the latest automation technologies, with a planned output approaching 45,000 tonnes per annum.

“Our main aim is to be a provider of industry leading products and services to the building sector. It’s not enough to just manufacture a product and sell it as a ‘commodity’. Pipelife recognises that modern systems require fully designed specification solutions. We provide our customers with design solutions that they can have confidence in and to make that possible, we’re continuing to invest heavily in in-house design services, particularly, but by no means exclusively in the heating sector,” said Ger.

“We will provide bespoke systems for individual buildings, with full design indemnity insurance and full life after sales support services. Our motto has always been ‘Our Reputation, Your peace of Mind’ and this goal remains the cornerstone of everything we do.”

Pipelife Ireland and Cork Plastics share a similar history. Both were founded as family-owned businesses in Cork in 1970 and 1969 respectively. Pipelife Ireland started out as Quality Plastics Limited (QPL) and in 2007, Pipelife International acquired QPL. Since then, Pipelife has invested heavily in modernising its production facilities in Cork and in recent years, the Irish operation has placed a strong focus on renewable heating products and services, along with its traditional focus on plumbing and heating pipes and fittings.In contrast, Cork Plastics has a much larger focus on sewage, soil, rainwater and roofline products. The company has grown significantly over the years in the Irish, UK and continental European market.

The greatly enhanced scale of the newly expanded Pipelife Ireland operation will, says Ger, allow the company to invest and provide competitively priced leading design services and products. In today’s market, scale matters; a growing number of customers are looking for a smaller number of larger ‘one-stop’ shop suppliers that have the scale, financial strength and credibility to be a long term supply partner.

“In the construction industry where developers, builders and home owners are faced with ever increasing up-front costs, scale brings efficiencies. That’s where Pipelife Ireland comes in. We can provide that scale and already, we are building a brand new training centre in Cork where all the Pipelife products, including our renewable heating range, will be showcased and demonstrated to specifiers, architects, consultants, installers and key decision makers within the industry. The inclusion of the Cork Plastics product portfolio allows for a much more detailed design and specification service to be offered on a whole house basis.”


Sustainability is another major focus at Pipelife Ireland. As an industry that has drawn some negative opinion when it comes to the historic environmental impacts of manufacturing and building, Pipelife has a very strong commitment to achieving world class results in its ESG targets. “On a group wide level, Pipelife is leading the way within the industry when it comes to improving safety, reducing its carbon footprint and designing its products to maximise their potential in a truly circular economy.”

Massive investment has gone into new equipment, personnel and services at Pipelife Ireland. That investment will position the company’s Irish operations as a world class manufacturing facility for many years to come. “This very visible investment shows Pipelife’s long term commitment to the Irish market and there is no doubt that the scale, modernity and product portfolio of the new Pipelife Ireland operations will be very attractive as a supply chain partner for the major merchant groups, builders and installers in the country.”



Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine

Email: denise@mcdmedia.ie      WWW.MCDMEDIA.IE