GSK opens new €8m state of the art biomass energy plant at Dungarvan site
GSK has announced the opening of an €8 million investment project at its manufacturing site in Dungarvan. The facility was officially opened Friday 23 June, by Site Director Brian Fox. The investment has been utilised to develop a new purpose-built biomass energy facility which is expected to reduce the site’s carbon emissions by up to 33%. The facility uses locally sourced woodchips to create a carbon neutral fuel source for the site.
The development of the biomass energy facility in Dungarvan is part of GSK’s global sustainability strategy which supports the company’s carbon neutral policy. This policy has set challenging carbon, water and waste reduction targets for all GSK manufacturing sites across the world. Dungarvan has responded with significant reductions in energy usage across its plant, delivered by highly efficient, world class engineering and energy management systems. The biomass energy facility also utilises a sustainable fuel supply as the wood chip it burns is made from waste wood by-product and the ash produced is used in fertiliser, which grow more trees.
GSK, who this year celebrate 35 years in Dungarvan, employs over 700 employees at two sites in the area:
- The ‘oral care’ facility produces a range of products including ‘Poligrip’ – the denture care range formulated to improve the comfort and oral health of people who wear dentures or partials. The facility produces 40% of the world’s supply of denture care products under the Poligrip and Polident brands.
- The ‘over-the-counter’ medical site produces a variety of medicinal products such as Panadol. Approximately 6.5 billion Panadol tablets are produced in Dungarvan each year – that’s 150 Panadol tablets per second which are then exported to 70 countries worldwide.
The announcement follows two recent investments made by GSK in the Dungarvan facility:
- €8 million was invested in the implementation of a new environmentally friendly packaging line that utilises a 100% recyclable material called Polypropylene. This offers a sustainable solution for the production of ‘blister’ packaged products as it allows the entire blister pack to be manufactured from one recyclable material.
- GSK also invested in a €7.2m extension to the denture care facility in 2017 to expand tablet compression and packaging capacity.
Brian Fox, Site Director at GSK Dungarvan, commented: “This investment from GSK is a significant vote of confidence in the Dungarvan facility, as well as in the capabilities of the town and people of Dungarvan to support such strategic developments. GSK is in Dungarvan 35 years this year and this investment will underpin our existing investments here and our sizeable workforce. It will also significantly enhance Dungarvan’s role in GSK’s global business and today’s investment is a strong recognition of the strong technical and scientific capability we have here.”
Kevin Meehan, Engineer Director, GSK Dungarvan added: “This substantial investment in the new biomass facility demonstrates our strong commitment to sustainability and to the local community. We also worked with local suppliers on the build and are using locally sourced woodchip to run the facility as well. GSK Dungarvan has a highly skilled engineering team across multiple disciplines that ensures the facility continually operates to world class standards. The success of the Biomass Energy facility is a testament to their skills in electrical, mechanical and automation engineering.”