The Maritime Steel plant is ready to run, it just needs power, says its owner.
It was just about a year ago that the 109-year-old Maritime Steel was placed in receivership because it owed more than $17 million to its parent company Cameron Corp. Ltd.
Since then, there was a hotly contested bidding process for the foundry and in the end, a former company manager Abass Jafarnia won the right to own Maritime Steel.
Jafarnia says the plant is ready to run, but he's waiting to get an inspection from Nova Scotia Power so he can turn the main power on in the plant.
Jafarnia came to work at the plant in 2004 and tried unsuccessfully to buy it. When the plant went into receivership last year, he seized his chance and tried again.
The province refused to help Jafarnia financially, so he found other investors.
"When it was in receivership of course I was putting my offer towards the court, not that I knew, so I had a better chance to buy it," he said.
The business was purchased for $1.25 million.
"It's our money," Jafarnia said. "We work hard to make this money and now we don't want to lose it, so I'm sure that what we are doing and that my partners are sure they are doing is right and hopefully make it up and running."
Town wanted business moved away
Jafarnia convinced the receiver that his plan was the best — which went against popular sentiment in the town.
The unions and the town of New Glasgow wanted another bid that promised to move the business away from the downtown for environmental reasons.
He's promising a safer, more efficient and globally competitive foundry that could run 24/7 and provide up to 200 jobs.
Workers on the job so far says they're optimistic.
"Because of our new owner and how determined he is to get it running again," said Jerry Lynch.
"It feels like there's a little more motivation right now, it seems like it sounds promising," Mike Shreenan told CBC News.
The buildings are old, but Jafarnia says the equipment inside is relatively new.
"Maritime Steel — maybe people don't know … but it was one of the best foundries in North America," Jarfania said.
Once the plant is profitable, Jafarnia says he'll move it out of the downtown.
Once the power is turned back on, it will start doing some test pours to make sure the equipment is working properly and if it is, Jafarnia says he'll let his customers know that Maritime Steel is back in business.