Element Six has a 60-year legacy in the Shannon region. Image: DW art/Shutterstock
Element Six has a 60-year legacy in the Shannon region. Image: DW art/Shutterstock

Shine on you diamond: Element Six creates 100 new jobs in Shannon

27 Jan 2017

Synthetic diamond maker Element Six is to create 100 new jobs in Shannon as part of a planned €7m expansion.

The investment will see employment levels double to 550 since the implementation of a restructuring plan in 2009, when the company faced closure.

The company has a 60-year history in the Shannon region. Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, said the investment signals a strong future for the company.

“Today’s announcement by Element Six is further evidence of the very competitive operating environment we have in Ireland, including in the regions,” Mitchell said.

“In 2009, the company cited the ‘high cost of operating in Ireland’ when it was on the brink of closure. But a combination of the improved operating environment and commitment of staff has transformed operations to a level that the company has more than doubled its employment here since.

“The addition of 100 extra jobs is a great vote of confidence for the region, which has much to offer companies who wish to grow their businesses in Ireland.”

‘A key influencer is the operating environment, which is considerably better now in Ireland’

Element Six is a leading layer in the area of synthetic diamond super materials and is a member of the De Beers Group of companies.

The positions are in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing. Recruitment is already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year.

The company has invested heavily in infrastructural projects at the plant over the past three years, including the installation of large-scale diamond synthesis presses to produce diamond materials for industrial use. In addition, high-end CNC machines have been designed and installed to process these materials.

Oil and gas

The latest round of investment will enable the synthesis and processing of diamond materials at the Shannon plant for use principally in the oil and gas industry.

“Oil and gas is a volatile industry but the improvements and investment here at Shannon ensures we are as future-proofed as possible going forward,” CEO Walter Hühn said.

“A key influencer is the operating environment, which is considerably better now in Ireland. In return, we have invested heavily and created high-value jobs for the region.”

Element Six super material solutions are used in industrial applications such as cutting, grinding, drilling, shearing and polishing, in industries such as manufacturing for automotive and consumer electronics; mining and road components; and oil and gas drilling.

Element Six is also opening up new applications for the extreme properties of synthetic diamonds beyond hardness in a wide array of industries such as optics, power transmission, water treatment, semiconductors and sensors.

“Element Six is a global leader in its field and for it to make this level of investment in cutting-edge processes in Shannon, and have the footprint it now has in Shannon, sends a very positive message around the globe about this area as an attractive inward investment location,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan.

Updated, 10.00am, 31 January 2016: This article was updated to reflect the fact that the new jobs are in Shannon, Co Clare, not Limerick.

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John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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