04 Jul 2022

CONFIRMED: Planning green light for MSD Carlow expansion to deliver nearly 1,000 jobs

The construction phase will employ approximately 700 tradespeople

Carlow Carlow Carlow

MSD in Carlow

MSD, one of Ireland’s leading health care companies, has been granted planning permission for the construction of its new facility, which is an expansion to the existing site, in Carlow.

The 13,000 square metre facility, first announced last October, will be constructed on a site adjacent to MSD’s existing Carlow plant on the Dublin Road and will focus on the production of vaccines and biologics.

It is scheduled to commence manufacturing operations in 2022 and will employ an additional 170 staff and 100 contractor staff when operational. The build phase will also see approximately 700 tradespeople employed on site.   

MSD already employs approximately 500 people in its Carlow site, nearly half of who are from Carlow town or county, and is involved in the manufacture of multiple vaccines and biologics in the MSD product portfolio.

The existing site opened in 2008 and was MSD’s first vaccines facility outside of the US. 

According to Marie Martin, Executive Director of Operations at MSD Carlow, she said: "This is a significant milestone for the business and for our presence in Carlow. 

"Over the past 10 years we have grown to be one of the region’s largest employers – the granting of planning permission allows us to grow our footprint even further.

"We take great pride in the fact that our Carlow employees are increasingly working at the cutting edge of medical science and technology, contributing to the health and well-being of people around the world. 

"We look forward to increasing our employment in the region and welcoming others to come on this exciting journey with us."

Declan Quinlan Executive Director and Facility Lead at MSD Carlow said: "The new state-of-the-art  Carlow facility will incorporate  a new production building consisting of two production suites – a syringe filling and inspection suite and a vial filling suite – supporting clean utilities, as well as an expansion of warehouse at the site. 

"We are pleased that the granting of planning allows us to move to construction phase, where an ambitious timeline will see us begin production within three years."

MSD has invested around €2.2bn since first setting up a presence in Ireland 50 years ago.

It currently employs around 500 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.

MSD Carlow currently employs approximately 500 staff, with over 40% from Carlow town and county, and the remainder travelling from neighbouring counties such as Kildare, Laois, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Waterford and Wexford. 

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