Shipbuilder and Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) bidder Austal has announced the establishment of a new design and project management office in Adelaide to support the company’s expansion into the shipbuilding hub and location for the build of the first two OPVs.
The new office will initially support preparations for the $3 billion Project Sea 1180 (OPV) project, which will see 12 vessels constructed for the Royal Australian Navy from 2018.
The company said in a statement the site will also enable preparations for Project Sea 5000 (Future Frigate), comprising nine vessels to be constructed in Adelaide from 2020.
Austal has entered into a 50:50 joint venture partnership with German designer Fassmer for the OPV project, offering what it sees as a customised, low-risk solution based on a proven design platform and build strategy that has successfully delivered seven similar vessels internationally to date.
“A clear point of difference with our (Austal Fassmer) OPV solution is that the customised, detailed design for the OPV80 will
be completed by Australians in Australia; led by an internationally competitive, successful Australian shipbuilder,” Austal CEO David Singleton said.
The two other Sea 1180 contenders (Lürssen/ASC/Civmec and Damen/ASC/Civmec) have expressed similar sentiments.
The new Adelaide office will be established from June 2017.
“As a key stakeholder in the delivery of the Australian Government’s Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program, which includes the 19 vessel Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project we’ve just cut steel on, it is absolutely critical that we establish a strong presence in both Australian shipbuilding hubs,” Singleton said.