Minister announces major investment in Larne

A £16million investment by U.S. global medical device manufacturer CaridianBCT, Inc., will deliver a welcome boost to the local economy.

Today’s investment, announced by Economy Minister Arlene Foster, is expected to create 235 additional skilled jobs over the next three years.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered over £1.7million of support towards the investment, including an element of training, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The investment will establish the Larne facility, which is operated by CaridianBCT Northern Ireland Ltd, as the one of the company’s strategic manufacturing sites.

Announcing the investment, Economy Minister Arlene Foster said: “This major investment is a boost for Larne and for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole. CaridianBCT has set ambitious targets including increasing production at its Larne operation and more than doubling employment over the next three years.

“The company is offering not just quality employment opportunities, but the chance for local people to gain transferable skills in the important Life Sciences sector. This growing sector has been identified as a priority by Invest NI as it offers long-term economic gain through the development of innovative technologies.”

Referring to the company’s comprehensive staff training programme, the Minister added: “CaridianBCT’s strong focus on training and process excellence has made its Larne facility one of the most efficient operations of its type in the world and, as a result, a key component of its growth plans.”

The principal objective of CaridianBCT’s development plan is expanding the Larne facility’s role in the assembly and delivery of its Atreus® Whole Blood Processing system.

“Our decision to make this investment reflects our confidence that the Larne operation can continue to make a significant contribution to the company’s global success, particularly in relation to our groundbreaking Atreus system and our innovative wider blood collection product range,” said James McKelvey, Managing Director of CaridianBCT in Larne.

Craig Rinehardt, Senior Vice President of Operations, said: “The Larne site offers a proximity to important European markets such as Germany and Spain where certain customers have already begun using our new Atreus technology and from here we will continue to maximise our global reach.

“Key to our success in Larne has been the talented people. They understand the need to maintain the highest levels of process excellence in the manufacture of sterile medical solutions and devices. This investment will enable us to build on our growth to date.”

This is the second such investment by CaridianBCT in its NI operations. In 2004, the company - then known as Gambro BCT - acquired Ivex Pharmaceuticals in Larne. A year later, the company announced a £7million investment, also supported by Invest NI, which created 86 new jobs.