Merck announces €440mn expansion in Ireland

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Merck is investing around €440 million to expand its membrane and filtration manufacturing capabilities in Cork, Ireland.

The company will increase membrane manufacturing capacity in Carrigtwohill and build a new manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park, creating more than 370 permanent jobs by the end of 2027.

The €290 million expansion in Carrigtwohill will add a manufacturing facility for the immersion casting of membranes. These membranes support novel and gene therapies, as well as applications like virus sterilisation.

Merck made a €36 million investment at the same site in 2021 for a second lateral flow membrane manufacturing product line. Now formally open, the 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.

The company will also build a new €150 million filtration manufacturing facility at Blarney Business Park supplying customers producing both traditional and novel treatments and therapeutics.

“This €440 million expansion of our Cork site, together with other major investments worldwide, will further enhance the value that Merck can deliver to customers throughout the development and production of their specialized medicines, vaccines and diagnostics,” said Belén Garijo, chair of the executive board and CEO of Merck.

“Ireland is central to our strategy to drive long-term growth and expand our global leadership position in Life Science,” said Matthias Heinzel, member of the executive board of Merck and CEO Life Science. “The investment in Cork is the biggest site investment in the history of our Life Science business and will accelerate the delivery of the critical products, technologies and services our customers need to fight the world’s toughest health challenges, including Covid-19.”

All of Merck’s expansion projects include clear targets for water consumption, waste management, and energy efficiency to support Merck in meeting its goal to be climate neutral by 2040, in line with its sustainability strategy.