Ireland wins Hewlett

Ireland has secured a large US computer components manufacturing project in the face of strong competition from British development agencies.

Hewlett-Packard will invest £100m in a new 100-acre plant manufacturing cartridges for ink-jet printers in south-west Dublin. It will create 1,100 new jobs by 1999, 300 of them this year.

The company employs 98,000 people and is the 24th-largest industrial company in the US. It has been a target investor of Ireland's Industrial Development Authority for several decades.

The level of Irish grant aid was not disclosed at yesterday's announcement, but is believed to be not less than Ir£15m. The company will benefit from a 10 per cent corporate tax rate until the year 2010.

The Irish enterprise minister, Richard Bruton, said the investment, would help maintain Ireland's current position "as the number one location for US investment in Europe".