Drinks giant Diageo has announced plans to invest €200 million in Ireland’s first purpose-built, carbon-neutral brewery on a greenfield site in county Kildare.
Located in Littleconnell in Newbridge, the new facility will brew lagers and ales including Rockshore, Harp, Hop House 13, Smithwick’s, Kilkenny and Carlsberg.
When fully operational with a capacity of 2 million hectolitres, it will be the second largest brewing operation in Ireland after St. James’s Gate, Diageo noted.
The new brewery will be powered with 100% renewable energy and will harness state-of-the-art technology to minimise overall energy and water consumption.
This will enable the brewery to avoid up to 15,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
As the production of lagers and ales is transferred to the new facility, St James’s Gate will increase its production of Guinness to meet global demand.
Additionally, the new brewery will also support the delivery of Diageo’s Society 2030 commitments by creating the physical space required for the use of renewable technologies at St James’s Gate.
Tánaiste and minister for enterprise, trade and employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said, "This €200 million investment by Diageo is really great news for the future development of Ireland’s thriving food and drink industry, and also for the wider national economy.
"It’s also extremely positive for Newbridge and the local economy in Kildare, with up to 1,000 jobs being created during the construction of the site, and 50 once built. I’m sure there will be many indirect jobs too."
Society 2030: Spirit of Progress
The new facility will contribute to Ireland’s critical economic and climate policy goals, such as supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy while also increasing both food and drink production and associated jobs.
Diageo will submit a planning application to Kildare County Council in September this year and, if successful, it plans to commence brewing in 2024 following a construction period of approximately two years.
Colin O'Brien, category head of global beer supply at Diageo, said, "Today is a landmark day for Diageo in Ireland. Our plans for a new, state-of-the-art brewery in Kildare, and the developments at St. James’s Gate, will enable growth in overall beer exports from Ireland."
"We are fully committed to embedding sustainability across our business from grain to glass and this announcement represents the next step in our integrated approach towards achieving one of Diageo’s Society 2030: Spirit of Progress commitments by becoming carbon neutral in our direct operations."