The arrival of an international manufacturing company in the Hunter is a good sign for the region’s economy, according to Maitland Business Chamber president Steve Thomson.
More than 100 new jobs are expected to come from a new aluminium cable manufacturing plant that will be commissioned at Tomago on Friday morning.
Midal Cables International’s new $60 million facility is the Bahrain company’s first venture into Australia and will produce 50,000 tonnes of alloy rod, wire and conductors annually for the Australian and international markets.
Mr Thomson said the company’s move to Tomago was an indication that business and consumer confidence were rising in the Hunter.
He said it meant Hunter residents who had lost manufacturing jobs had a chance to keep working in the industry.
“The local manufacturing sector has taken a few hits in the past 12 months,” he said.
“But this is great news. It is an opportunity for those people with skills in manufacturing to get work, and every one of those workers represents a local family.
“It’s a nice sign that things are on the right track.”
Midal Cables International managing director Hamid Al Zayani said the Hunter’s close proximity to Rio Tinto and Tomago Aluminium Smelter had drawn the company to the region.
Mr Al Zayani said there was also a wealth of aluminium-related skill and knowledge in the Hunter.
He said about 40 Hunter residents had been employed at the site so far.
“We’re ramping up to that number [100 employees],” he said.
“We’re using this as a springboard to supply the Pacific rim.
“We need liquid metal, that’s why we are in Tomago next to the smelter. On balance, we are pretty optimistic.
“It’s a good neighbourhood to be in.”
Mr Al Zayani travelled to the Hunter from Bahrain for Friday’s commissioning.