Rixell, the Omagh-based subsidiary of Ritek, the world’s largest producer of CDs, is gearing up to meet a series of orders from two of the best known international companies in the global data storage industry.

Just six months after the announcement of the Invest NI-backed investment, Rixell has a full order book for CD-R disks from international customers and is moving rapidly to meet its production targets that will see over 100,000 disks every day.

The high-tech company, which is based at Doogary Road Industrial Estate, is also almost a year ahead of its recruitment target. It currently employs 128 people and is still recruiting. The company expects to meet its 150-strong workforce target well ahead of its 2005 schedule.

The Omagh plant represents a £28 million investment by Ritek, one of Taiwan’s leading technology companies, and features advanced technology equipment for the manufacture of CD-R (compact disks which are recordable and rewritable) for the huge European market.

Sean Cromie, Rixell Production Manager at Omagh, said the plant had become “a vitally important unit within Ritek’s European manufacturing operations”.

“We already have a full order and the business is continuing to grow rapidly. This means the company will play an increasingly important role in the development of the local economy in terms of employment opportunities, skills development and in its contribution to the overall wealth of the community.

“Our production staff play a vitally important role in helping to ensure the products we manufacture maintain the highest quality standards that customers demand. The opportunities for our products are vast. In Europe, for example, almost two billion CD-Rs were sold last year. This plant was established primarily to meet European demand.

“We’ve been pleased by the motivation and quality of people recruited from the local area through our advertising and by means of the Bridge to Employment scheme,” he added.

During a visit to the company, Leslie Ross, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Business International, said: “Rixell’s achievements in Omagh are very impressive. The company has moved quickly to exploit a significant market opportunity and has introduced advanced manufacturing technology. This is a significant investment that is developing the capability base in Omagh.”

At full capacity, Rixell will have 27 production lines capable of 17 million disks a month.

Rixell’s sister company, Multimedia Info-Tech has been based in west Belfast for over five years and is currently producing over six million disks annually. Both are part of Ritek, which was founded in 1988 and currently employs over 4,000 people worldwide. In 2000, Ritek sold products worth around £1 billion to customers in the global market place.