GE Healthcare, the medical technology subsidiary of General Electric, is to pump US$10m into its manufacturing facility in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. The investment will be used to create a new production suite, with the aim of increasing the site’s manufacturing capacity by more than 50pc in the area of contrast media. The company is also planning to take on around 50 new hires to support its growth plans.
Contrast media is a substance introduced into the body in order to improve the visibility of its internal structure during radiography.
GE Healthcare also has contrast media manufacturing facilities in Oslo, Norway, and Shanghai, China, but chose Cork for the investment.
Almost 450 people are employed at the Cork site. With production levels due to rise, GE Healthcare said it will shortly be beginning a weekend operation to support the growing manufacturing volumes.
The company said this new initiative will lead to further recruitment at the site, bringing employee numbers to almost 500.
Today’s news is significant for another reason, as the Carrigtwohill site is about to celebrate 20 years of being operational. Global pharmaceutical manufacturer Nycomed set up the plant in 1992. The plant then went through more incarnations – Nycomed Amersham and Amersham Health – before GE Healthcare took it over in 2004.
Right now, the Cork facility exports products to around 70 markets globally. According to GE, up to 25 40-foot containers leave the site weekly for destinations such as South Africa, the US and India.
Speaking today, Paschal McCarthy, who is managing director of global supply chains at GE Healthcare, said the news was a "major confidence boost" for the site.
"It also sends out a strong statement of where we see this company positioned going forward; this investment will be instrumental in helping GE Healthcare continue to position itself well in the market," he said.