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Business Briefs Intel plans Leixlip expansion

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Hardly a day went by last week without news of job losses in Ireland, prompting further fears that the downturn in the U.S. economy could knock the Celtic Tiger off its stride.

However, at least one major U.S. investor in Ireland announced expansion plans with a $2 billion plant at Leixlip in Dublin. Intel, the microprocessor manufacturer cautioned that the company expected a downturn in demand, but the new plant, employing 1,000 people, indicated optimism in the long term. Intel also announced job cuts of 1,300 in Puerto Rico.

Baydon opens Hub office

Baydon Solutions, a Dublin-based high-tech company launched its first U.S. operations with an office in Boston. The company’s product allows organizations to centralize training resources in one database, and has been growing strongly since its 1995 launch. Baydon focuses on what it calls "moment of need" training for employees at their desks, removing the need and cost of more traditional, comprehensive training schedules.

Ryanair welcomes competition

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Last week, Ryanair complained bitterly about airport manager Aer Rianta’s monopoly over Irish airports. Now Easyjet and GO, two British budget airlines, are in negotiation with Aer Rianta to provide service to and from Ireland in competition with Ryanair. Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, has welcomed the news: "More competition equals lower fares and that is good for the market as it creates growth." Aer Rianta is expected to offer discounts to the new airlines if they choose to enter the Irish market.

Cork refinery bought

The White Refinery outside Cork City in Whitegate has been purchased for $100 million by Tosco Corp., the third largest oil refinery in the U.S. Tosco’s CEO, Tom O’Malley, is making good on his expressed vision of expansion into Europe.

BG acquisition target?

Another one to watch: BG group, the gas exploration division of the former state-owned British Gas, could be picked up by an American Company. Phillips Petroleum has been mentioned by observers but has refused to comment. BG and Phillips would comprise a company worth about $20 billion.

Gaelic browser

Opera, the third-largest Internet browser provider after Microsoft and Netscape, has announced plans to provide a browser version that offers access in four minority languages — Breton, Welsh, Scots and Gaelic. Until December of last year, Opera charged a registration fee, but now a free version is available for downloading.

Limerick, Nokia deal

The University of Limerick announced a joint venture with mobile phone provider Nokia. The university competed against seven other contenders to research a model for projects involving industries and universities in Ireland.

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