Work begins on €190m Coca Cola plant

 

A new manufacturing plant for soft drinks manufacturer Coca Cola in Co Wexford will create 60 jobs in a year and 100 after five years, the company said.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen today officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the plant on a 41-acre site in the IDA Business & Technology Park in Wexford.

The facility will provide manufacturing, laboratory and pilot plant facilities to enable "process development and product commercialisation", the company said.

The jobs created will be in the areas of advanced process development, engineering and manufacturing.

Mr Cowen said: "This $300 million investment will lead to job creation, a substantial contribution to the regional economy and is a tremendous addition to our manufacturing and technology industry base. We are delighted to welcome the company to Wexford and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Coca-Cola here."

Coca-Cola Company president and chief executive Muhtar Kent said the company had enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Ireland and the IDA.

"Over the next several years, the $650 billion dollar global non-alcoholic ready-to-drink industry is expected to grow faster than the world's GDP.

"This facility will help to support the current and future growth strategies necessary for The Coca-Cola Company to continue to succeed in a rapidly changing and dynamic marketplace."

Last October, Coca-Cola Ireland closed its plant in Drogheda, Co Louth, with the loss of 256 jobs.

The plant had a different focus to the proposed Wexford operation, as it made concentrate rather than flavours.