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Medical tech giant GE Healthcare is to create up to 140 jobs through a expansion of its manufacturing plant in Cork.

The announcement, expected to be confirmed today, will see the workforce at the Carrigtwohill facility in east Cork rise to close to 640. The investment, which is supported by IDA Ireland, will double the facility’s production capacity of medical imaging contrast media from 22.5m to 43m units per year.

Contrast media is a substance ingested into the body during radiography or MRI scans to improve the visibility of its internal structures.

Minister of state for trade promotion Seán Sherlock said the East Cork region is a strong, global player in the medical devices sector.

“Manufacturing in East Cork is a key industry that is underpinning the economic recovery that is taking hold.”

Established in 1992, GE Healthcare’s Cork facility fills, packs, and distributes contrast media used in medical scans to more than 80 markets internationally.

In 2012, the company invested $10m in the development of a production suite at the Carrigtwohill facility which resulted in its manufacturing capacity increase by over 50% at that time.

Paschal McCarthy, the managing director of Global Supply Chain at GE Healthcare, said the investment announcement today will mark a key development in the journey of the facility.

“Most importantly, this investment in our facility represents a significant vote of confidence in our people and their commitment to delivering the very best possible products available in the market,” he said,

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said manufacturing is a key sector which was targeted in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

“This is an area which was neglected in recent decades but we have put in place a range of measures to support growth and in recent years we have seen a strong jobs performance,” he said.

The latest jobs boost for Cork comes just two weeks after Apple announced 1,000 new jobs at its European headquarters on the city’s northside, and just over a week after Voxpro announced some 400 jobs at its operation in Mahon.

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