Glanbia Meats Ireland has announced that it is to spend €27 million expanding its two production facilities in Edenderry, county Offaly and Roscrea, county Tipperary. The upgraded facilities will have a combined capacity to process 25,000 pigs per week, making them the largest and most efficient facilities of their kind in the Irish Republic.
The planned works include extensions to slaughter, chill and boning facilities, together with appropriate infrastructural improvements. Work will be completed in phases with the entire project finished by September 2004.
The company expects that the expanded processing activities will have an increase in employment at the two sites of approximately 150.
The decision to upgrade both plants follows the destruction by fire of its pigmeat processing facility in Roosky, county Roscommon in May 2002. It was Glanbia's initial intention to rebuild the destroyed plant, but found that this would be prohibitively expensive.
The firm instead opted to restore lost capacity by improving existing facilities.
A voluntary redundancy programme has been agreed between the company and employee representatives for staff affected by the fire in Roosky. This package has been extended to include other administrative and support positions which have been impacted by the fire and by the decision not to rebuild the Roscommon plant.
Commenting on the decision, John Madden, chief executive of Glanbia Meats Ireland said:"The Roosky fire was devastating for everybody involved and we were determined to rebuild the facility. Regrettably that has not been a viable option despite the extensive investigations made by the company. I am confident the solution we have arrived at offers the best long-term job security for our remaining employees, and for our producers."
Glanbia Meats Ireland is a subsidiary of Glanbia. It is Ireland's largest pigmeat processor, serving domestic and international markets.