Eli Lilly ($LLY) says it will invest €330 million in its previously announced expansion at its Kinsale campus in Ireland.
Work is beginning at the 240,000-square-foot commercialization and manufacturing plant, which will employ about 200 people when it is operational, which is expected to be in 2016. An estimated 300 workers will be needed during construction of the plant.
The $442 million plant will add to Lilly's other operations there. In 2010, it completed a €300 million facility that took four years to finish. In an emailed comment, Andrew McLaughlin, with Lilly, said that together the two plants are "intended to ensure manufacturing capacity for Lilly's biotech pipeline."
The company said it has about 700 total employees in Ireland spread among Cork City, Sligo and Dublin, in addition to Kinsale.
Along with its biopharmaceutical manufacturing, the company makes animal vaccines and has bulk API manufacturing there. It makes the active ingredients for such drugs as Alimta, Evista, Strattera, and Zyprexa. Lilly also has financial shared services, marketing and sales operations in Ireland.
Officials in Ireland lauded the expansion Monday as important to boosting the country's lagging economy, the Irish Times reports.
Lilly is not alone in its expansion plans in Ireland. In October, Sanofi ($SNY) unit Genzyme unveiled a $207 million plant expansion in Waterford, about 150 kilometers east of the Lilly site along the coast in the south of the Emerald Isle.
These expansions are made all the more important by the patent losses facing some drugs in Ireland, like Lipitor. Ireland's national statistics office just reported a 9% decline in exports for the country in December, falling €7.5 billion according to preliminary statistics. The office pegged the main cause of the €750 million decline to reduced sales of Pfizer's ($PFE) cholesterol drug Lipitor, which is manufactured at its plant in Loughbeg, Cork, The Financial Times reports. Of course, the impact may mean more to Pfizer than to Ireland.