THE Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he expects 600 construction jobs will be created in Limerick in the very near future, as part of the first phase of Regeneron’s €220m plans to open a major production site at the former Dell plant in Raheen.
Following his meeting in New York last weekend with Regeneron chief executives, he told the Limerick Leader that the intention of the Nasdaq listed pharmaceutical company “is to go ahead straight away with developing the Raheen site, now that they have planning permission.”
“They’ll create 300 jobs in the first instance, and prior to that there’ll be 600 construction jobs, and that’s phase one. Then depending on how they’re going, they’re contemplating phase two. So, it was very successful,” he said of the meeting.
The company is already offering jobs to highly qualified biologists, who Minister Noonan said, will be trained in their plant in New York state, and they’ll keep hiring, with the intention to get into production by the end of 2015.
The 300 jobs are expected to be created by the end of 2016.
Seventeen jobs, from engineers, IT managers, to a director of biotech manufacturing, are currently being advertised on Irish recruitment sites. The salary levels are not currently being disclosed.
The minister said the company have “their team on site already, scoping it out to ensure they can proceed as quickly as possible”.
“Despite all the problems down here with the flooding, there is very good news on the jobs front,” he said.
The company’s vice president of production was also due in Limerick this week to assess the site.
“This is one of the most significant new foreign director investments in Ireland in the life sciences sector in recent years and one of the biggest investments in Limerick in a generation,” said the minister.
At the New York meeting, he said he received a detailed presentation from Dan van Plew, senior vice-president, on Regeneron’s “ambitious plans for Limerick”.
“I assured him of the continued support of the Government and the IDA. I am confident that this investment will be very successful and the company will go from strength to strength in Limerick,” he said.
Regeneron’s invest-ment will be a major boost to Limerick city, which was left reeling five years ago when Dell announced that it would be cutting 1,900 manufacturing jobs at its Limerick plant that year and moving its production to a lower cost base in Lodz, Poland.
“This is Regeneron’s first major expansion outside the United States and is strategically important to our company,” said Mr Van Plew, Regeneron’s senior vice-president and general manager of industrial operations and product supply.
The development also provides for the construction of a new three storey, 4,440 m.sq. laboratory building which will be linked to the existing building at ground and 1st floor levels.
Minister Noonan also met with executives from a number of new and emerging technology companies that have established, or are in the process of establishing, operations in the Limerick area.
including the Gilt Group, headquartered in New York city, set up a global trading and procurement company in Limerick in 2011 and currently employs about 140 people in Castletroy.
Also in attendance was Glenn McCarthy, CEO at EtQ, Inc, an environmental health and safety solution provider, headquartered in Farmingdale, New York.
The company recently announced plans to open their European headquarters in Limerick with the creation of 30 jobs over the next three years.
The Minister also met with Jiri Stejskal, president and CEO, at CETRA Language Solutions. CETRA established its European headquarters in Limerick over two years ago, which has quickly become the fastest growing market segment for the company.
The recently appointed new chief executive of Kemp Technologies, Ray Downes, from Pallaskenry, also met with the Minister. The company established an office in the National Technology Park in 2010 and now employ 20 people with plans to grow even further over the coming 12 months. KEMP Technologies, Inc. headquartered in Yaplank, New York provides application delivery and load balancing products for small to medium sized businesses.