Taoiseach Leo Varadkar officially opens €85 million extension at Bausch + Lomb Waterford
Investment supported by Dept of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland
Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health company, today announced that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, officially opened a €85 million extension at the company’s Waterford, Ireland facility to help meet the consumer demand of its contact lens portfolio, specifically Biotrue® ONEday daily disposable contact lenses.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the parent company of Bausch + Lomb, has invested more than €200 million in the Waterford facility’soperations, infrastructure and manufacturing line growth. Today’s investment, supported by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, has created 125 additional jobs, bringing the total to 300 since the Waterford facility expansion first began in 2015.
As a result of the expansion, approximately 112,000 sq. ft. of new building has been added to a 17-acre site adjacent to its current facility. This brings the total footprint of the complex to 500,000 sq. ft.
The investment further strengthens the Waterford plant’s position in supporting the company’s global efforts in increasing market share in the daily disposable contact lens market. The company currently employs 1,300 people at its Waterford facility.
The Biotrue® ONEday family of contact lens products was developed by the R&D team based in Waterford, and the site is the sole manufacturer of Biotrue® ONEday contact lenses globally. In addition, the vast majority of the materials used in the manufacturing and distribution process in the facility for the lenses are recyclable and/or sustainable.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar congratulated Bausch + Lomb, saying: “This major investment by Bausch + Lomb, adding an extra 125 jobs, is a big vote of confidence in this Government’s ambitions for Waterford and for the future. Bausch + Lomb and its parent company Valeant are to be commended for their commitment to the southeast region. This government is determined to show over the next few months and years that we can not only continue to stimulate growth, but that we are able to spread the benefit across the entire country.”
Tánaiste and Minster for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Frances Fitzgerald TD said: “I warmly welcome the additional investment and job creation by Bausch + Lomb, which moves the company’s operations in Waterford into an exciting new phase. This company has been a huge employer in the city for several decades and their latest investment highlights their ongoing commitment. Being in a regional location gives this project added significance and dovetails with the Government’s work in strengthening the industrial base and job creation in regional centres, in order to achieve balanced economic growth. Having a project of this magnitude, in a high tech and high skilled sector, is a terrific boost for the southeast.”
Joseph C. Papa , chairman and chief executive officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, said: “Bausch + Lomb is one of the world’s most respected eye health brands, due in large part to the quality products that have been manufactured at the Waterford site for the past 37 years. With this extension at the Waterford site, we are not only building on that legacy, but also investing for our future. The enhancements to the site will enable us to meet increasing global customer demand for the Bausch + Lomb Biotrue® ONEday contact lens brand, which was developed by our R&D team here at Waterford.”
The Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD said: “I am delighted to be here today for what is a landmark day for Bausch + Lomb in Waterford. This huge investment and the additional jobs are a terrific boost for the city and will have a very positive economic impact here. We very much appreciate the vote of confidence which the owners of Bausch + Lomb have placed in this plant, its local management and the workforce, after a period of some uncertainty. I look forward to a continuing great partnership between the company and the city.”
IDA’s CEO Martin Shanahan said: “In addition to attracting new foreign direct investment (FDI) into Ireland, an important focus for IDA is working with existing client companies, supporting them to transform and grow their business and grow jobs. Bausch + Lomb is an excellent example of this. It also demonstrates a strong and very welcome commitment by the company to Waterford and the southeast, where it has been an excellent employer for nearly four decades. This is an imporant strategic investment by the company which solidifies its reputation as a global leader in contact lens production and positions it to take advantage of future opportunities in the eye health care sector. I congratulate Bausch + Lomb on this impressive new facility and wish them continued success.”
Mark Hennessy, Site Lead, Bausch + Lomb Waterford, welcomed the completion of the investment: “The commitment to Bausch + Lomb’s operations here is very welcome and enables us to take advantage of the opportunities that are emerging in the contact lens and eye health sector in the coming years. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the establishment of Bausch + Lomb Waterford and during that time, the facility has provided good employment for several generations of Waterford people as well as for people from the surrounding counties of the southeast region, and will continue to do so. I am looking forward to the coming years as a time of great opportunity and further significant growth.”