f153m boost for Guinness plant
THE Guinness manufacturing plant in Dublin is in line for a €153m expansion -- but there will be job losses at other sites.
Drinks giant Diageo has lodged plans to build a new brewhouse on its St James's Gate campus, which runs between James Street to Victoria Quay. The construction phase will create up to 300 jobs, Diageo estimates.
After months of talks with Dublin City Council, Diageo came up with its plan to expand brewing on the 55-acre site to boost annual production capacity to 7m hectolitres. If the plan gets the green light, all beers made by Diageo in Ireland will be brewed at St James's Gate, thereby securing its long-term future.
Diageo will retain a long-term option on land at Leixlip on the outskirts of Dublin, which is owned by descendants of the Guinness family, where it had planned to build a super brewery.
However, the company confirmed that its breweries in Kilkenny and Dundalk are to close next year, with the loss of up to 99 jobs. The Kilkenny brewery, which is more than 300 years old, currently produces Budweiser and Smithwick's, while Dundalk is responsible for Harp, Carlsberg and Smithwick's.
Employment at both sites has been scaled back in recent years with Kilkenny currently employing 44 and Dundalk 55.
In 2008, the brewing company announced its €650m plan to build a super brewery and sell part of the St James's Gate site to developers. But these plans were later put on hold due to falling beer markets in Europe and the sharp fall in Dublin property prices.