SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On this St. Patrick's Day, Gov. Steve Beshear announced an Ireland-based safety apparel company will be opening its first North American distribution center in Shepherdsville.

Portwest LLC will be moving into a vacant 71,000 square-foot building on Omega Parkway in Shepherdsville.

The safety apparel manufacturer plans on being fully operational by early 2015. The company says Kentucky was chosen because if its strategic location allowing goods to be shipped just about anywhere in North America quickly.

"We can cover or get product to 60 percent of people in America within 24 hours," said chairman Cathal Hughes, who noted the distribution center will bring 100 new jobs eventually. 

Portwest LLC is investing $4.4 million into the project.

Based in Ireland, it also has warehouses across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, but the company is looking to break in to the U.S. market. Last year it sold products in 87 countries.

"Portwest is global company its 110 years old with 100 years of experience in the design, manufacture and supply of protective clothing, safety footwear, specialist gloves and personal protective equipment," said Gov. Beshear.

Portwest was given about a million dollars in tax incentives to move to Kentucky. Instead of Irish whiskey, governor Beshear gave the brothers who run the company a gift of Kentucky bourbon.

As for when job applications will be accepted, those details are yet to come, but you can find that information here.

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