120 new engineering jobs to be created in Co Antrim with Australian manufacturer

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons pictured with Charlie King, Managing Director of Tribe Technology and Anne Beggs, Director of Trade and Investment for Invest NI.

120 new engineering jobs are to be created in Co Antrim by the Australian drill rig manufacturer, Tribe Technology.

The positions will be based at a new manufacturing facility at Enterprise Way in Mallusk near Newtownabbey.

The company is based in Perth, Australia and designs, manufactures and sells remotely controlled drill rigs to the minerals industry.

The work in Northern Ireland will involve designing and manufacturing a new, smart autonomous drilling system.

After being manufactured in Belfast, it will then be shipped to customers in Western Australia.

The Managing Director of Tribe Technology, is Charlie King a Northern Ireland native, originally from Crossgar and is to relocate here.

“I have spent more than a decade working in the contract drilling industry in Australia. We identified the opportunity to develop an innovative new product which will revolutionise the drill rig industry for the global minerals industry.

"Tribe Technology will remove all operators from the dangers of drilling operations, reduce drilling costs and increase drilling uptime.

"We took to decision to locate the manufacturing in Northern Ireland as there is a wealth of heavy manufacturing industrial expertise here. “It is great to finally see the new factory up and running and work well underway to manufacturing these new rigs.

"Even though we are just getting started we have already recruited 14 people to the team.

"The market demand for our technology has been outstanding and we look forward to ramping up to full production capacity ahead of schedule.”

Speaking during a visit to the facility, Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said: “Northern Ireland has a diverse advanced manufacturing and engineering sector which, in recent years, has grown almost three times faster than the rest of the UK.

"I am delighted to welcome Tribe Technology to this vibrant and highly sophisticated sector. “Tribe Technology plans to create 120 new engineering jobs over the next five years. These roles offer the opportunity to be involved in developing and manufacturing innovative new drilling systems, as well as attractive salaries.

"Once all the roles are in place this investment will generate in excess of £3m in annual salaries to the NI economy.”

Invest Northern Ireland has been working with Tribe Technology since late 2019, showcasing what Northern Ireland has to offer. The agency has also offered £984,000 of support towards 82 of the new jobs. Anne Beggs, Director of Trade & Investment said: “There are around 2,200 advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering companies in Northern Ireland involved in a wide variety of activities. This project by Tribe, however, is a new area of manufacturing for Northern Ireland. “We are pleased to have been able to support and secure such a pioneering manufacturing project for Northern Ireland.”