Abbott gets green light for major expansion in Kilkenny

US medtech group is spending €440m on growing in the Republic

Kilkenny County Council has given the green light to Abbott Ireland for plans to construct a medical device manufacturing building at the city’s IDA Business & Technology Park.

The development forms part of a €440 million investment by Abbott Ireland, which is part of the US multinational healthcare giant Abbott Laboratories. The Kilkenny expansion will, when added to growth in Abbott’s Donegal operations, allow the medtech group to grow its Irish employment levels by 1,000. The new roles will be in the areas of engineering, quality control, medical device manufacturing and other science-based areas.

The company will use the Kilkenny facility to make its new FreeStyle Libre technology for people with diabetes. Abbott’s glucose monitors allow diabetes patients to avoid carrying out finger-prick tests several times a day to check glucose levels.

The group will construct an industrial building with an overall floor area of 29,490sq m. The building will include assembly rooms, an electron-beam sterilisation area, support and staff welfare facilities, kitchen and dining facilities, warehouse/storage space, and ancillary office space.

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The application was approved by Kilkenny County Council, subject to 18 conditions, on Wednesday.

Minister of State for Heritage and local TD Malcolm Noonan welcomed the granting of planning permission.

“It gives certainty to Abbott to proceed with their development plans and delivers a much-needed investment boost for the city,” he said. “I believe that this new manufacturing facility will be a boon to our city for many years to come”.