A €40m investment in Waterford by Diageo, the company which produces Guinness is one of the largest private investments ever made on a single site in the city and county.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney, officially opened the new production facility in Waterford city yesterday afternoon.
The new state-of-the-art plant, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland, has already begun production of the ‘essence of Guinness’ at the riverside site on Mary Street where brewing has been taking place for more than 200 years.
The essence is exported to each of the 50 countries where Guinness is brewed to ensure the unique flavour and quality of draught and bottled Guinness is consistent everywhere it is consumed.
Ms Harney, who was welcomed to Waterford by the city’s Mayor, Alderman Tom Cunningham, described the new brewery as a “remarkable facility” where Diageo has developed a key link in the supply chain for their special ingredient.
“The company whose investment we celebrate here today is truly global and trades in over 180 markets around the world and it is in this context that the success of Waterford and Ireland in securing this major project must be seen,” Ms Harney said.
“The decision by Diageo to invest in Waterford will have been made on solid commercial grounds with little room for sentiment. Successes of this nature are hard-won and the speed with which this major project has been brought to completion also reflects extremely well on all of those involved.
“I can recall announcing the investment and the backing of Enterprise Ireland for the work in September 2002 and could not have anticipated then that I would be back in less than 18 months to officially open this plant.”
Ms Harney also predicted that such high-end investment will copper-fasten Diageo’s presence in Waterford well into the 21st century.
“It is telling that the investment in additional production facilities and new technology is driven by a requirement to meet the growing demand for the special ingredient, which is used to brew Guinness around the world,” she said.
“As sales of Guinness in far-flung locations continue to grow in the years ahead, it is to be hoped that production here in Waterford will continue to expand.”