US-based Abbott has started construction on a new manufacturing facility in Kilkenny, Ireland to produce its FreeStyle Libre 3 continuous glucose monitoring portfolio.

The 30,000m² facility will be Abbott’s seventh manufacturing facility in Ireland to manufacture its FreeStyle Libre 3 system.

According to Abbott, the glucose monitoring system features the world’s smallest, thinnest glucose sensor for people with diabetes.

The new Irish plant will generate 300 jobs during construction and over 800 jobs by the time manufacturing begins, which is expected in 2024.

The healthcare technology company has already hired around 50 people for permanent positions in quality control, engineering, medical device manufacturing, and other science-based areas.

Abbott’s new facility in Kilkenny is supported by the Irish government through Investment Development Agency (IDA) Ireland. It is located in the IDA business and technology park in Loughboy, Kilkenny.

Abbott diabetes care business SVP Jared Watkin said: “Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre is the number one sensor-based glucose monitoring system in the world, having changed the lives of 4.5 million people across more than 60 countries by providing breakthrough technology that is accessible and affordable.

“This new facility, together with our diabetes care facility in Donegal, will help us meet the growing demand and bring new highly skilled jobs to the community.”

In August last year, the healthcare technology company announced an investment of €440m to expand its manufacturing operations for its diabetes care business in Ireland.

Along with the new Kilkenny manufacturing plant, Abbott announced the expansion of operations at its existing facility in Donegal.

Abbott employs over 5,500 people across ten sites in Ireland.

The company has six manufacturing facilities in Ireland, which are located in Clonmel, Longford, Cootehill, and Sligo. It also has a third-party manufacturing management operation in Sligo.

The healthcare technology company has been operating in Ireland since 1946 and provides diagnostics, medical devices, and nutritional products for the Irish market.