THE infrared technology company SATIR, which has a base in Dundalk, is planning to make the largest Chinese investment directly into the Irish economy in over 32 years.
SATIR first established a presence in Dundalk four years ago; the official opening ceremony was held on May 21, 2007, and the first production line began.
The Dundalk plant became efficient at producing the HOTFind_D series of infrared cameras, and has a current production capacity of 1,000 cameras per month.
At the end of 2009, SATIR had signed contracts for over 10,000 sets of infrared cameras for overseas markets valued at e20 million.
Guangzhou SAT Infrared Technology Co Ltd was founded in 1998, and grew out of Beijing SAT Detection and Measurement Technology Ltd established by Mr Wu Jiping in 1991.
In 1991, SATIR began a project to research and develop a civilian infrared thermal imaging product, and was the first private enterprise to carry out such a project in China.
Over the past 20 years, SATIR has successfully produced a commercial infrared camera, and has developed technologies for application in this sector.
As part of the company’s R&D programme SATIR developed a thermography camera, improved the technology on their infrared camera range, and broke into the US, Japanese and other global markets.
The European, Middle Eastern and African markets have now become a target for SATIR, and as part of its global strategy SATIR believes that positioning its overseas assembly plant in Dundalk is the perfect choice for accessing global markets.
Due to the success of SATIR, the company has announced plans to build a purpose-built facility in Dundalk.
The project will involve the purchase of land and a planning application. The company hopes that the land purchase will be completed and planning permission will be granted by mid-December.
A project management team will be appointed by the end of December with a view to beginning the tendering process by January 2012.
It is planned that awarding of the construction contracts will be signed by June 2012 with building commencing in the second half of 2012.
The building will be completed between 14-18 months with a total investment of e30 million. When completed and operating at full capacity, SATIR will gave a workforce of 200, 70 per cent of which will be Irish/European.
SATIR infrared cameras will have wide application in the global Auto industry and in the industrial engineering industry as well, raising the profile of Ireland as an investment destination in these sectors.
This is the largest Chinese investment directly into the Irish economy since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries over 32 years ago.
According to Louth Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, the investment represents great confidence in the Irish economy and its highly skilled workforce.