It was announced today that global science and technolgy company Merck will invest approximately €440 million in two facilities in Cork. The investment, which is the largest in a single site ever for the Life Science business, will create more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.
At Blarney Business Park, Merck is going to build a new filtration manufacturing facility for almost €150 million. Once fully operational, it will increase Merck’s global manufacturing capacity and supply customers producing both traditional and novel treatments and therapeutics.
With the more than €290 million expansion 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, plasma separation and finger prick rapid testing. The membranes also serve the Process Solutions business, which is one of the ‘Big 3’ growth drivers for Merck.
Process Solutions markets products and services for the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain. Merck aims to increase its Group sales to approximately €25 billion by 2025. To achieve this growth target, the company increased its total investments between 2021 and 2025 significantly compared with the period from 2016 to 2020.
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. Over the next five years, Merck will implement investment programmes worldwide. Target countries include Germany, China, France, Switzerland, Ireland and the USA.
Speaking at the site’s official announcement, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, "This investment, the largest in the history of Merck Life Science, speaks volumes about our capacity to provide the right conditions for multinational organisations 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."
Managing Director and Head of Cork Operations at Merck, Martin McAuliffe added, "Today’s announcement of the decision to construct a new membrane manufacturing facility in Carrigtwohill and the development of a new filtration manufacturing facility in Blarney is a testament to the capability, hard work and dedication of all our colleagues here in Cork."