News 256 views last update:7 Aug 2012

Alltech expansion plans obstructed by dust

Plans for a dusty new quarry in Meath may force nearby biotech firm Alltech to scrap plans for hundreds of new jobs, according to the Sunday Tribune.

The company had planned to build a science park, which would include up to 20 research centres, at its European headquarters in Dunboyne. But Aidan Connolly, the company's vice president for Europe, said this plan was under threat because Meath county council had granted planning permission to Kilsaran Concrete for a quarry four miles away.

"The whole idea of going to Dunboyne was to be out in the countryside and develop the 110 acres we have there in a non-industrial area," Connolly said. "We need clean rooms because we do a fair amount of research at Dunboyne involving different types of bacteria and yeast. Dust and dirt from lorries would definitely compromise our ability to do that work," he said.

Under the plans, Alltech would create 150 new jobs at its plant, and it aimed to attract a range of associated research companies which would create up to 850 further jobs. Connolly said the proposed quarry would make this project impossible because the main access road to it passed by Alltech's facility and the resulting lorry traffic would damage the surrounding environment.

Alltech would move the development to Eastern Europe if its appeal against the quarry permission was unsuccessful. Connelly also said the future of its existing Dunboyne plant, which employs 75 people, would be under threat.

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