Job boost expected as Vistakon expands its Limerick operation

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

ONE of county Limerick’s biggest employers looks set to grow further with Vistakon set to announce a “substantial” jobs boost.

ONE of county Limerick’s biggest employers looks set to grow further with Vistakon set to announce a “substantial” jobs boost.

The Plassey-based company has sought planning permission to build two new production lines at its factory in the National Technology Park, and informed sources within the company have confirmed that 100 or more new IDA-backed jobs are on the way as a result.

Previously, Limerick County Council gave the company permission for 128 new car parking spaces.

Vistakon’s plant in Limerick supplies millions of euro worth of contact lenses across the world each day.

A subsidiary of medical firm Johnson and Johnson, Vistakon currently employs around 650 people on 24-hour-a-day shifts in manufacturing and administration.

This is set to grow after Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Ireland) applied to Limerick County Council for permission for a 5,171 square metre extension.

The company also had plans approved for a 3,535 square metre extension earlier this year, with work on this already under way.

In supporting documentation, Vistakon stated the expansion is necessary “as a result of an increased demand for disposable contact lenses in world markets”.

“The project involves the construction of a further expansion of their existing manufacturing facility in the National Technology Park, Limerick,” the document goes on to say.

A spokesperson for Vistakon confirmed an announcement is coming in the next few weeks.

“We are expanding all the time anyway. We have brought in 45 process technicians already this year. We are in hiring mode at all times, whether we are expanding or not,” the spokesperson said, confirming they also had a significant number of temporary staff working on site.

The news comes as a boost to Co Limerick, which has one of the highest unemployment rates across Ireland.

When the announcement happens, it will be the first major jobs announcement for Limerick from the IDA this summer.

Vistakon first opened its doors in 1996.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton is expected to travel to Limerick to make the announcement.