Walter Hühn, Pat Breen, Ken Sullivan and Mary Buckley at Element Six Picture: Arthur Ellis
INDUSTRIAL diamond manufacturer Element Six has announced a 100 job expansion as part of a €7m investment at Shannon.
The investment will see employment levels more than double to 550 since implementation of a restructuring plan in 2009.
A member of the De Beers Group of Companies, Element Six - which produces synthetic diamond super-materials - has today announced the creation of a further 100 jobs at its Shannon facility.
The company said the investment - officially announced today at a briefing at the plant hosted by Element Six Executive Director of Operations Ken Sullivan and attended by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen and the company’s global CEO Mr. Walter Hühn - will bring to €40m the overall spend by Element Six at Shannon over a four year period.
The positions are in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, with recruitment already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year, bringing to 550 the company's overall employment at Shannon.
Mr Hühn said: “This is a significant moment for Element Six and its staff in Shannon as it is validation of the hard work of our management and staff here in turning the business around.
"Thanks to a culture of continuous improvement, the use of world-class manufacturing techniques and efficiency and quality gains, our Shannon operations have now taken on additional, global cutting-edge processes, leading to this investment and considerably enhanced employment levels.
"Oil and Gas is a volatile industry but the improvements and investment here at Shannon ensures we are as future-proofed as possible going forward. A key influencer is the operating environment, which is considerably better now in Ireland. In return, we have invested heavily and created high-value jobs for the region.”
Jobs minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said the announcement was "further evidence of the very competitive operating environment we have in Ireland, including in the regions.
"In 2009, the company cited the ‘high cost of operating in Ireland’ when it was on the brink of closure. But a combination of the improved operating environment and commitment of staff has transformed operations to a level that the company has more than doubled its employment here since.
"The addition of 100 extra jobs is a great vote of confidence for the region which has much to offer companies who wish to grow their businesses in Ireland. I wish Element Six and the team every success in the future."
Minister of State Pat Breen said it was a "very important day for Element Six, for Shannon and, indeed, the wider Clare and Mid-West area.
"This announcement is a very strong endorsement of the Shannon Free Zone as a leading destination for innovation and job creation."
Welcoming the news and the increase in Element Six's "footprint in Shannon", IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan said it sent "a very positive message around the globe about this area as an attractive inward investment location".
Company director of operations Ken Sullivan remarked on Element Six's "60 year history at Shannon and today’s announcement very much signals that we have entered a new era in terms of our operations here.
"A strong spirit of partnership has sustained us through a very challenging period and, in no small part thanks to the commitment of staff to this partnership approach, we have emerged as one of the biggest and best employers in the Shannon region."