US medical devices company Edwards Lifesciences has announced it will more than double its investment at its new facility in Limerick to more than €160m.

The firm announced last year that it had chosen the National Technology Park in Castletroy, Limerick to locate its new manufacturing plant.

The additional investment from €80m to €160m includes the purchase of additional land, the construction of a larger facility to allow for possible future expansion and the integration of upgraded technology.

The company plans to open the purpose-built facility by 2021 and hopes that 600 people will be employed there once it is fully operational.

In a statement, the company has said the new facility will "focus on manufacturing sophisticated medical technologies, such as delivery systems and other components for Edwards’ market-leading therapies for structural heart disease".

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to break ground on the new facility today along with Edwards' company representatives.

He said the development of the Limerick region is a major part of the Project Ireland 2040 project.

"We are planning for the city to grow by 50 percent over the next two decades through enhanced regional accessibility, improved international connectivity and a competitive, educated workforce," he said.

Edwards currently employs 50 people in Ireland at a facility in Shannon.

Edwards’ chairman and CEO Michael Mussallem said: "We are proud to break ground today on a modern, state-of-the-art facility in Ireland that will serve as an important addition to our global supply chain to enable global delivery of our high-quality, life-saving heart valve therapies.

"Since we established operations in Ireland last year, we have appreciation for the excellent business environment to help develop our operations. We are also proud that we have had the opportunity to begin to engage in local community activities and initiate educational and professional opportunities for our employees.