A little more than a month after rumors surfaced that Pfizer was plotting a blockbuster investment in Ireland, the company has formally declared its plans—and they’re bigger than expected.
Thursday, Pfizer confirmed over email that it’s plugging 1.2 billion euros into its manufacturing site at Grange Castle in Dublin, where the Big Pharma also plans to add between 400 and 500 new jobs by 2027. The company has said the project will “significantly expand” its production and laboratory capacity on the Emerald Isle and will bring Pfizer’s overall head count there to around 5,500, according to a press release.
Pfizer’s investment marks the company’s largest expansion investment in Ireland to date.
The project will see Pfizer build a new facility on its existing Grange Castle campus. The upgrade is expected to double capacity for biological drug substance manufacturing at the site, the company explained.
Under its current plan, Pfizer will begin work at the site in 2024, with the goal to complete the project within the next five years. The project is currently in the preliminary design phase, Pfizer said.
The billion-euro outlay was to be expected after reports in October about Pfizer’s designs on a Grange Castle expansion. At the time, Ireland’s The Business Post first reported that Pfizer was planning more than 1 billion euros in investments at the site.
Pfizer already has a big footprint in Ireland, where company boasts additional sites in Kildare and Cork. The company notes online that it’s invested more than $8 billion in its Irish operations since 1969.
At Grange Castle specifically, Pfizer makes top-selling products such as the pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar, according to The Irish Times. Across the entire country, the company says it cranks out medicines for arthritis, inflammation, cancer, infections, hemophilia, pain and stroke.
Last year, Pfizer laid out 40 million euros to fold Grange Castle into its global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing network.
Pfizer’s latest manufacturing push comes at a busy time for the Irish biopharma scene. In September, for example, AbbVie said it was investing 60 million euros in its site on the outskirts of Cork, outlining a new facility to bolster its aesthetics business with 70 new hires across sterile manufacturing, quality control and engineering roles.
And, over the summer, AstraZeneca put 65 million euros behind its next-generation manufacturing plant in Dublin as well as another Alexion facility in Athlone.