Fincantieri Australia announced today that two South Australian shipbuilders have each been awarded a contract to build cruise ship blocks as part of the Italian shipbuilder’s start-up of local operations.
MG Engineering has been selected to build two 22.3-ton blocks, each 11.25m in length, 8.6m in width and 7m in height, which will be constructed at the company’s Adelaide shipyard. Ottoway Engineering will construct one 23-ton block at its Whyalla facilities, 18m in length, 7.5m in width and 4m in height.
“Ottoway Engineering is pleased to have been selected to participate in Fincantieri’s inaugural Australian shipbuilding construction project," Ottoway Engineering’s CEO, Stephen Young said.
"We welcome this opportunity to showcase our capability, learn new skills and contribute to forming a strong relationship between Australian block builders and leading, global shipbuilding companies, such as Fincantieri."
All three cruise blocks will form part of a cruise ship’s superstructure. The two constructed by MG Engineering will sit on the port and starboard sides of the ship and will be dedicated to accommodation areas. The block constructed by Ottoway Engineering will be located in the central part of the ship and will be dedicated to technical zones where emergency generators are located.
“We’re pleased to welcome two fantastic South Australian companies, MG Engineering and Ottoway Engineering, to our global supply chain," chairman of Fincantieri Australia, Dario Deste said. "Fincantieri’s commercial strength and extensive network of global projects make it the ideal partner for local Australian companies to expand their business activities with, ensuring win-win solutions for all."
An estimated 1,000 square meters of Australian steel will be used, which is enough to cover four tennis courts. At a total of 52 tons, roughly the weight of six buses, Australian steel will form 86 per cent of the overall weight of the three blocks.
Construction is expected to employ approximately 40-50 local workers across the two SA sites. The blocks will be built by mid-2018.
Fincantieri is bidding for the SEA 5000 Future Frigate program. The company is using this initiative, as well as other test orders for mechanical equipment and work-force preparation, to prepare for the construction of nine frigates for RAN in Adelaide in 2020 should it be successful.
Building cruise ship blocks in Australia allows Fincantieri to establish and strengthen its relationships with local suppliers and understand their capabilities. It forms part of the company’s plan to maximise local industry participation and help Australia become autonomous in the design, construction and export of vessels, including internal material and equipment.
“Building these blocks in South Australia provides Australian industry with the opportunity to gain experience in commercial shipbuilding, equipping them with new skills and broadening their opportunities to grow and expand into global markets," director of Fincantieri Australia, Sean Costello said.
"This initiative also readies Fincantieri to start construction of nine frigates in 2020 with an Australian workforce.”