August 20 - This month, specialist straddle carrier and forklift manufacturer Combilift inaugurated the construction of its 46,000 sq m manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland.

The EUR40 million (USD43.8 million) facility will include a dedicated research and development building, purpose built testing area and adjoining administration offices.

Combilift managing director Martin McVicar said the company was delighted to be breaking ground on the new facility that will put the company well on its way to doubling its current EUR150 million (USD164.3 million) turnover over the next five years. The expansion will also help to create a further 200 jobs by 2020.

Local dignitaries and Combilift's current 350-strong workforce watched as McVicar and technical director Robert Moffett officially announced the start of the construction process on the 40 ha greenfield site. The initial phase to level the site is expected to last 10 weeks, with 200 personnel employed throughout the whole 18-month construction process.

Currently the Combilift's forklift range is produced in Monaghan Town, while its straddle carrier range is manufactured in Clontibret. Combilift is also a workplace partner for the Assembly Technician Traineeship course, due to start this year at the Monaghan Institute, which the company states will be integral in ensuring the supply of locally qualified personnel.