130-job expansion to meet expected demand for Bausch + Lomb contact lenses across the world and coincides with its 40th anniversary in Waterford where it employs 1,500 people.

Global eye health company Bausch + Lomb is to create 130 jobs to expand its manufacturing operations in Waterford.

The company is investing €90m to create additional capacity to meet expected demand for its Biotrue ONEday range of contact lenses.

“The Biotrue lens was developed by the team in Waterford and supported by our commercial colleagues around the world, and it continues to grow in our US, European and Asian markets”

In addition, approximately 150 additional workers are expected to be employed in the construction phase of the expansion.

Vision for the future

“Our vision is to be the global leader in contact lens innovation and manufacturing, and this latest investment will enable the Waterford facility to meet the growing demand for our very successful Biotrue ONEday range of daily disposable contact lenses,” said Mark Hennessy, Site Lead at Bausch + Lomb in Waterford.

“The Biotrue lens was developed by the team in Waterford and supported by our commercial colleagues around the world, and it continues to grow in our US, European and Asian markets.

“We recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Bausch + Lomb Waterford, and the decision to make this significant investment in Waterford was influenced by our track record in providing high-quality products and excellent customer service to markets around the globe,” Hennessy said.

The investment will further strengthen the Waterford plant’s position in supporting Bausch + Lomb’s efforts to increase market share in the contact lens market.

This follows a similar announcement in November 2018 in which the company announced it was investing to increase contact lens manufacturing capacity at its sites in Waterford and Rochester, New York, by adding multiple production lines at these two sites to support the manufacture of its innovative daily disposable silicone hydrogel (SiHy daily) contact lenses.

Construction of the Waterford facility, announced in 2018, has now been completed, and production of the company’s latest contact lenses, Bausch + Lomb INFUSE, will start by the end of this year. The Waterford site currently employs more than 1,500 people.

The investment was welcomed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD.

“The company has already invested significantly in the South East region, employing over 1,500. This decision reaffirms that commitment and is a great vote of confidence in Waterford and all it has to offer. I wish all involved the very best with this new development and thank Bausch + Lomb for the continuing commitment to Ireland.”

Recruitment for the new jobs will begin in 2022. However, the facility currently has vacant positions in operations, engineering, quality and other disciplines.

“IDA Ireland has partnered with Bausch + Lomb for many years,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan. “We are delighted with the company’s decision to further expand its manufacturing operations at the Waterford facility, creating 130 jobs.

“ It demonstrates Bausch + Lomb’s continued commitment to the South East region, in which, this year, it celebrates its 40thanniversary.  This expansion is a welcome addition to the South East Region’s thriving medtech cluster.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 21 July 2021

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