Multinational healthcare and pharmaceutical giant MSD has been granted approval for a significant expansion to its existing manufacturing facilities in Carlow, which will allow for the generation of almost 300 additional jobs.
The granting of planning permission will now lead to MSD targeting a 2022 opening date for the new facility, which will be located adjacent to its existing Carlow plant, which opened in 2008 and was MSD's first vaccine-producing facility situated outside the US.
The new 13,000 square metre manufacturing facility - plans for which were first announced last October - will focus on the production of vaccines and biologics. It will employ an additional 170 staff and 100 contractor staff when operational.
The construction phase will also employ approximately 700 tradespeople.
MSD has invested around €2.2bn since first setting up a presence in Ireland 50 years ago. It currently employs more than 400 people in Carlow and 1,800 in total across its manufacturing, R&D, support services, and commercial/marketing operations across Dublin, Carlow, Cork, Tipperary and Wicklow.
The president of MSD's global manufacturing division, Sanat Chattopadhyay, said the expansion "reinforces" its commitment to the country.
"Due to increased global demand for MSD’s medicines and vaccines, our company is investing significantly in expanding our manufacturing and supply capabilities.
The construction of a second manufacturing facility at the site of our existing operation in Carlow is part of this exciting investment," he said.
"The decision to further invest in Carlow is a real testament to the talent of the current Carlow team and MSD Ireland’s wider employee base.
This new investment reinforces MSD’s commitment to Ireland, further strengthening our 50-year strong legacy here. Ireland has been a gracious and supportive host for MSD for many years, and we anticipate doing business here for many years in the future," he said.
IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan said the news marks "an important strategic move" for the company and "a deep commitment" to the south-east region.