A western suburbs-based business will build a new $9.8 million manufacturing plant in Truganina.

Unipod owner Jason Wylie said construction on the Foundation Road factory would start soon and is expected to take up to 12 months to complete.

As part of its expansion, the Derrimut-based company will take on 92 new employees, with 85 of those positions suitable for former automotive workers. Mr Wylie said the company hoped to start recruiting more staff to work on the factory floor soon.

Unipod has secured a grant under the state government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) for the expansion.

The LIFT fund gives grants of up to $2 million to businesses which can create new jobs in areas affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing.

Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan announced the grant while in Derrimut on Friday. “We are proud to support Unipod so they can expand their operations in Melbourne’s west and create local jobs for local workers at a time when they are most needed,” Mr Noonan said.

Unipod manufactures expanded polystyrene waffle pods which are used to build concrete slabs for new homes, extensions and commercial industrial buildings.

The company’s Truganina plant will produce structural insulated panels to be used in wall, roof, floor and civil construction projects.

Mr Noonan said the LIFT program had also given a grant to the TFI Group (Total Fleet Imaging) in Laverton North, to create eight new jobs and expand its signage operations.