• Taylor Bros will work on accommodation for the OPVs. Credit: Luerssen
    Taylor Bros will work on accommodation for the OPVs. Credit: Luerssen

A new joint venture has been formed between Luerssen and Civmec called the Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group (AMSEG).

AMSEG will play a significant role in the build of ten OPVs in Henderson, WA, and in driving an export shipbuilding business that will target opportunities around the region.

The joint venture will be chaired by one of the nation’s foremost naval experts, former Chief of the Navy VADM (Ret'd) Chris Ritchie.

“This new company will be governed by an Australian board and operate under Australian management to build world class naval vessels in best practice Australian shipyards,” VADM Ritchie said.

“We will invest in Australian skills and infrastructure and transfer expertise from SEA1180 prime, Luerssen Australia, to develop capability and support the foundation of a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry that is able to export to the global market.”

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the joint venture is another positive step forward.

“This is great news as the group will play a significant role in the Western Australian build of ten Offshore Patrol Vessels using Luerssen’s proven design,” Minister Pyne said. “In November 2017, the Turnbull Government selected Luerssen as the prime contractor to supply 12 OPVs to the Navy.”

“The whole project is worth around $3.6 billion and construction of the first OPV will start in South Australia later this year using ASC. The work will then move to Henderson in WA where the final 10 will be built as part of the continuous shipbuilding program for minor war vessels.”

Executive Chairman of Civmec and AMSEG Director Jim Fitzgerald said the formation of the new company was further evidence of the commitment the SEA1180 industrial team had made to materially growing local shipbuilding industry.

“This is a huge step forward for Australia’s shipbuilding industry. It is an exciting development that will fully underpin the development of the new state of the art shipbuilding facility at Civmec’s Henderson headquarters,” Fitzgerald said.

It is estimated the project will directly employ up to 1000 Australian workers - 400 direct and a further 600 in the supply chain.

“I commend AMSEG for their commitment to advancing Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability,” Minister Pyne added.

“By investing in Australian skills and infrastructure, and looking at opportunities to export into the global naval market, AMSEG is signalling its intent to be a key player in establishing Australia as a competitive shipbuilding nation.”

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