The UK’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco is to create 1,500 jobs as part of its expansion in Ireland.

Tesco, which is already the market leader in Ireland with 76 stores, plans to open six new stores, replace three existing stores and build a new distribution centre in Dublin.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern confirmed that the supermarket group would invest £66m (US$109m) in the expansion.

“These jobs bring good news to a number of locations throughout Ireland.

“Tesco will continue to be a major investor in Ireland and the announcement today of new capital expenditure of over €100m through this expansion programme is testament to their commitment as well as the future buoyancy of the retail market here,” Ahern was quoted as saying by BBC Online.