Major jobs boost for Cork as four foreign companies invest

FOUR foreign companies are to invest 75 million creating nearly 300 jobs in Cork.

The announcements were made yesterday by Tánaiste Mary Harney who said the biggest investment would be made by German-owned drugs company Altana Pharma AG which is to spend €70 million building a new factory at Carrigtwohill.

Altana will start recruiting next year and should have half its 150 workforce in place by 2005 with the remainder provided by 2006. The majority of the jobs will be for third-level graduates.

The Tánaiste said Atlanta was one of the fastest growing and most profitable companies in Europe. Ireland had faced intense competition from several other countries to acquire the company, she said.

US corporation Schlumberger is investing 4 million in doubling staff numbers at its Little Island facility.

Schlumberger, a global technology services company, will take on 75 staff this year, bringing its total workforce to 150.

A further 48 jobs are to be created at a plant in Bandon with a €1.7 million investment.

Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd is to expand its manufacturing facility, providing 42 jobs by the end of 2005 and a further six in the following two years. The company, which is Australian-owned, currently employs 34 people.

“Minelab already makes a major contribution to Bandon and the surrounding areas,” said the Tanaiste.

M/A-COM Eurotec BV is to employ a further 18 engineers as part of a major research and development drive which will bring its workforce up to 43.

The company, based in Blackrock, is a designer and manufacturer of radio frequency and microwave wireless devices for the global telecommunications industry.

“This is a further recognition of Cork’s ability to produce design engineers with the highest international standards of expertise,” the Tánaiste said.

“It was the existence of suitably qualified people in the region, the proximity of UCC which continues to produce such graduates, and the presence of the National Microelectronics Research Centre that influenced the company’s decision to undertake this technologically challenging investment in Cork.”

Unfortunately one location which didn’t get good news was Youghal. More than 160 jobs were lost in the town at Artesyn Technologies last December and two months later 234 jobs were shed at Technological Home Entertainment Services.

The Tánaiste travelled to the town yesterday where she assured public representatives and business leaders that everything would be done to secure new industry.

Meanwhile, over 80 staff at HP Chemie Pelzer in Waterford face the prospect of being jobless later this year. A year and a half ago, 25 jobs were cut at the Waterford base. It is now to close, with the loss of all jobs.

The cuts are blamed on the downturn in the international economy. The company produces sound-proofing materials for the auto motive industry.

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