An Irish insulation company is getting behind Victoria’s manufacturing future, opening a $40 million factory at Somerton, with 50 new jobs to go with it.

Kingspan opened its O’Herns Road site on April 5 after developing the factory with the help of a $3 million grant from the Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Fund.

The fund is a joint state and federal government initiative to help the Hume, Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin economies hit by the closure of Ford’s Broadmeadows plant.

It funds companies wanting to invest and create jobs in the northern suburbs.

Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan said the factory has set new standards in energy efficiency, becoming Australia’s first green-star rated manufacturing facility.

It includes a 750 kW solar system in its roof, and industrial-grade, low-energy lighting and heating systems.

“This is another great win for local manufacturing, and another global company choosing Melbourne to establish,” Mr Noonan said.

Kingspan plans to supply its insulation products to the Australian, New Zealand, Asian and Oceania markets, with 35 per cent of its output due to be exported by 2020.

Broadmeadows MP Frank McGuire said the new factory would boost the local economy.

“Kingspan’s new Somerton facility is a shot in the arm for local manufacturing.

“It will also provide reskilling opportunities for workers affected by the end of local car manufacturing in Melbourne’s north,” he said.