The investment, supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland, was announced by the company last Wednesday.
J. Michael Pearson, chairman and CEO of B+L parent company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, said it was confirmation of the company’s commitment made earlier this year to continue to invest in the Waterford plant.
In May, the company announced major cutbacks, including 200 job losses from its then workforce of 1,100, pay cuts of around 15 per cent and changes in rosters, which have since been implemented.
Mr Pearson said this new investment programme will provide the Waterford facility with next generation contact lens manufacturing technology, high-speed packaging equipment and an efficient energy generation system. Employee training for new automation is also part of the investment.
“Bausch + Lomb’s Waterford site will continue to play a very important role in our strategy to rebuild Bausch + Lomb as one of the leading contact lens producers,” he continued.
“The Waterford facility is a first class manufacturing site for contact lens manufacturing and distribution, and with the new contact lens manufacturing lines, the added capacity will support both current and future demand.”
Speaking in Waterford, Angelo Conti (vice president, manufacturing, B+L), who said the investment cemented the company’s commitment to the Waterford plant after employees agreed on a cost reduction plan to make the plant viable for the future.
B+L (Waterford) General Manager Damian Finn said the substantial programme of change implemented by staff over the past six months had made the plant increasingly competitive.
“I believe that we now have a more sustainable operation and I am looking forward to the coming years as a time of great opportunity and significant growth,” he added.