At 500,000 sq ft, Bausch & Lomb’s new-look Waterford facility is fully up and running after the latest €85m stage was completed.
Now sporting 1,300 employees, Bausch & Lomb’s Waterford footprint is bigger than ever, with a total of €200m put into its site.
The newly finished facility has added 125 jobs in recent months, with a full 300 coming on stream in just two years of expansion.
The last stage was brought about by the Valeant Pharmaceuticals-owned company’s need to meet the consumer demand of its contact lens portfolio.
The investment further strengthens the Waterford plant’s position in supporting Bausch & Lomb’s global efforts in increasing market share in the daily disposable contact lens market.
One product in particular, called BioTrue ONEday, was developed in Waterford, where it is the sole manufacturer.
“Bausch & Lomb is one of the world’s most respected eye health brands, due in large part to the quality products that have been manufactured at the Waterford site for the past 37 years,” said Joseph C Papa, chair and CEO of Valeant.
“With this extension at the Waterford site, we are not only building on that legacy, but also investing for our future.
“The enhancements to the site will enable us to meet increasing global customer demand for [our] contact lens brand, which was developed by our R&D team here at Waterford.”
Bausch & Lomb provides over-the-counter supplements, eye care products, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, lens care products, and ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments.
Mark Hennessy, site lead at the company’s Waterford facility, said the latest investment was “very welcome”, enabling his team to take advantage of “opportunities that are emerging in the contact lens and eye health sector in the coming years.
“This year marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of Bausch & Lomb Waterford and, during that time, the facility has provided good employment for several generations of Waterford people as well as for people from the surrounding counties of the south-east region, and will continue to do so,” he said.
Last week, pharma giant BioMarin officially unveiled its updated Shanbally facility, with an expanded warehouse, new administration and utility offices, a canteen, and conference facilities added in recent months.
Taking two years to complete, the company isn’t quite finished yet, though. The overall project will allow BioMarin to maximise the flexibility of the site with the expansion of the operational manufacturing capacity.
There are also plans for the installation of a wastewater treatment plant later this year, while three new lab expansions are to be completed by the third quarter of 2018.
Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, chair and CEO of BioMarin, said Ireland was “an ideal location” to expand within.
Since opening its doors in 2011, the company has grown to 365 employees in Cork, with an additional 67 people based in Dublin and 2,400 employees globally.
“The team at Shanbally has enabled us to accommodate our growing commercial portfolio and advancing clinical programmes,” said Bienaimé.