CA - Maritime Steel owner says he can reopen, but Toronto firm plans to auction assets

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With a little financial help and government permits, Abbas Jafarnia says he can reopen Maritime Steel Foundary Ltd.

The ongoing saga of the Maritime Steel Foundry Ltd. plant in New Glasgow advanced into another chapter Tuesday.

Abbas Jafarnia said in an interview from Ontario he can successfully fire up the shuttered operation if he can obtain some financing and the necessary operational approvals.

But in the meantime, Corporate Assets Inc., of Toronto was making plans to proceed with an auction sale of the assets at the location.

A Feb. 6 auction was postponed and a new date for a sale will be available soon, said a staffer with Corporate Assets in Toronto who asked not to be identified.

“All the details on what will be available at the sale are available at our website,” said the staffer.

There was an assets sale at the plant scheduled for last fall by the same auction company, and it was also postponed.

Despite a long list of setbacks at the century-old plant Jafarnia purchased for $1.25 million in 2011, he said his dream of a resumption of operations remains viable.

He said he still has hopes of financial support from the provincial government, even though the province has previously rejected funding requests relating to the foundry from Jafarnia.

He is working in Ontario and said he can still secure contracts for the plant if he can overcome the financing obstacle and obtain clearance from the Nova Scotia Environment Department.

“There are people in New Glasgow interested in seeing the plant resume operations. Hopefully, we will have some news in coming weeks.”

Pictou County MLA Pat Dunn said he has written to the Environment and Economic and Rural Development departments seeking temporary permits to get the plant operational.

“There is a good opportunity here to bring some people back to work at this foundry,“ Dunn said in an interview. The plant hasn’t operated in about 2 1/2 years.