Re: Re: Developments in Cork
Irish Examiner 03 April 2007
Fears as bio-tech giant delays â‚¬800m factory project
By Eoin English
US BIOTECHNOLOGY giant Amgen last night announced a two-year delay in the development of its â‚¬800 million manufacturing plant in Cork, raising concerns about the projectâ€™s future.
The company said the decision to reschedule the opening of the plant, with a promise of 1,100 jobs, was taken after a global review of its operations. The first phase of the plant in East Cork â€” bulk manufacturing capacity-building â€” was due to open by 2010 but will not open until 2012 at the earliest.
The development of the second phase of the plant â€” the formulation and milling facility â€” has also been delayed.
The hiring of staff will also be stalled.
A company spokesperson said Amgen remained committed to the project â€œin â€œterms of overall investment, plant capacity and overall job numbersâ€.
She said the initial schedule announced last year was aggressive. However, the total employment figure of 1,100 would be reached, she added.
Enterprise Minister MicheÃ¡l Martin was due to turn the sod on the site at a ceremony on Thursday week, but this has been cancelled.
Mr Martin was briefed on the delay by senior company management yesterday.
â€œIt was a productive meeting during which they outlined the new schedule,â€ he said. â€œIt is important to note that Amgen remains very positive about Cork and firmly committed to their investment in East Cork.
â€œThe engineering, design and ground work continues.â€
Site work started on the massive plant last November. Amgen has already hired up to 130 people.
Some will continue to work on the Carrigtwohill project but others will be Local Labour councillor, John Mulvihill, described the delay as worrying.
â€œI am very concerned about this being the thin end of the wedge,â€ he said.
â€œThere have been a lot of job losses in East Cork in recent years. We all thought Amgen would solve a lot of our unemployment problems. But this news is a major blow to the East Cork region.â€ re-deployed.
The Amgen investment was last year hailed as the biggest investment in Cork in 20 years.
Three appeals against the project have been lodged with An Bord PleanÃ¡la.
A ruling is expected in mid- July