TOUR DE FORCE An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Mr Pat O’Donnell, Managing Director, Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland, getting ready to go on a tour of the plant in Westport yesterday.?
Pic: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
‘A great day for Westport’
200 jobs and €275 million investment announced for Allergan
ALLERGAN Pharmaceuticals have announced that they will invest $350 million (€275 million) in their Westport site over the next five years, to construct a 135,000 sq ft biologics manufacturing facility. Approximately 200 jobs will be created, along with up to 250 indirect jobs locally, during the construction period.
The news was officially announced yesterday by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who called it a ‘huge confidence boost for Westport and the entire region’.
The company have acquired the Technology Park that is adjacent to their manufacturing facility on the Castlebar Road in Westport, and work on the design phase of the project will begin immediately. It is anticipated that the new plant - which is being developed to satisfy the ever-growing global demand for Botox - will be fully operational by 2017. While the construction phase will not take this long, the facility will have to meet strict regulatory and validation requirements before it can begin manufacturing.
Allergan first came to Westport in 1977, and over the last 35 years has been almost constantly expanding. The Westport facility is now the largest manufacturing plant within the company network, and with over 800 employees, also has the largest number of staff in one location, outside of their corporate headquarters in Irvine, California.
Yesterday’s announcement will drive this number to over 1,000 employees, and the new jobs will be across a wide range of disciplines, including science and engineering, as well as general operatives.
Speaking at a press conference following the announcement, Pat O’Donnell, Managing Director, Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland, said it was a really positive day for Allergan, for their employees and for the local community.
“This investment underscores the strategic importance of the Westport site within the Allergan manufacturing network. Based on Allergan’s present strategic plans, we anticipate that demand for Botox will continue to grow, fuelled by recent approvals of the product for the treatment of neurogenic detrusor overactivity and the treatment of chronic migraine in many countries around the world.”
Mr O’Donnell continued: “The Allergan Board has approved the acquisition of the Technology Park located next to the Allergan site, giving us the space for this expansion. I would like to recognise the work of the IDA and local agencies for having the vision to develop the Technology Park and for agreeing to our acquisition of these facilities, which will allow us to meet our current and future growth plans.”
Vote of confidence
Enda Kenny lauded Mr O’Donnell, his management team and all the company’s employees. He said that Ireland exported over €43 billion from the pharmaceutical industry last year - making this country the world’s largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals. Companies like Allergan, he stated, are at the heart of this success.
Wishing Pat O’Donnell and his team success in the future, he added that it is a fantastic vote of confidence in Ireland, Allergan Ireland, and their local team, that Allergan would choose Westport for the construction of a new biologics manufacturing facility.
“This news will breathe new life and hope into an area that has become more accustomed to negative economic news in recent times. This success will be built upon as we attract new investment into the regions,” he concluded.
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Allergan expansion ‘a fantastic boost’