Environmental manufacturing and engineering company Tricel is to create 100 new jobs over the next 18 months, with 40 of these positions to be located in Killarney, amounting to a €2.4m boost to the local economy.
The new jobs, including graduate positions, will bolster the existing workforce of 250 based in Ireland, the UK and France over the next 18 months and will strengthen operations in management, engineering, R&D, product development, marketing and manufacturing.
The investment is backed by Enterprise Ireland.
Tricel is a European leader in the development and manufacture of advanced and specialised composite products from water storage tanks and wastewater treatment systems to construction and building products, as well as specialist moulding and filler products for the manufacturing and automotive industries.
The new jobs also mean that the company will invest in more resources to facilitate its expansion across the company and it is hoped that many of the new graduate positions could be filled from local third-level colleges in the Munster region.
“Jobs are growing in every region of the country – however they are growing faster in some regions than in others,” the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said.
“That is why at the heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is accelerating jobs growth in every region. Key to this is creating a powerful engine of Irish industry – companies like Tricel, operating in manufacturing and engineering sectors, often family owned, have huge capacity to drive employment growth in every town and village of the country.
“We have put in place a range of measures over the past four years to support the growth of companies like Tricel right around the country, and we have seen impressive employment growth in these companies. Today’s announcement that Tricel is creating an extra 100 jobs, of which 40 are based in Kerry, is a huge boost for Killarney and for the whole south west,” Bruton said.
A phoenix rising from the ashes of recession
Originally known as Killarney Plastics, which was founded in Killarney in 1973, Tricel also established further operations in the UK in 1993 and in France in 2011 from where it won the ‘Best Irish Company in France’ award in 2012. From 2010 to 2013 the company saw growth of 57pc with an extra 75 jobs created then and has forecasted turnover to double in the next four years.
This will be achieved by the continuing expansion into new markets and through the introduction of new and innovative products, into recently found markets throughout Europe, the Middle East, Australia and the American continents.
A key turning point in Tricel’s history was when the Stack family made the decision to enter the environmental market with a domestic waste-water treatment system that led to its export success.
“Our main success and expansion was actually fuelled by the recession in Ireland, which had a detrimental effect on our Irish market, which forced us to increase focus on our existing UK market and also on further export markets,” said Tricel managing director Mike Stack.
“We bucked the trend and backed ourselves by making a multi-million euro investment in R&D and plant and machinery within this period. Amongst our biggest business achievements during this time was the fact in 2007 we exported 5pc of our turnover and were highly dependent on the Irish construction market. By 2013 our exports had increased to 70pc of our turnover.
“This investment has led to continuous process and design improvements, which have ensured our current and future success. Being a privately family-owned business we pride ourselves in supporting the local economy and where possible, local manufacturers and service providers are the preferred supplier choice,” Stack added.
Killarney image via Shutterstock