Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick have announced a $9 million investment to upgrade energy supply and connection for a soon-to-be-built shell forging plant in Maryborough.
This latest investment from the state will see an additional Maryborough substation and a dedicated 11-kilovolt connection built for the plant. This follows a $7.5 million commitment through the Palaszczuk government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to bring the facility to the city.
Premier Palaszczuk and Minister Dick said investing to ensure local industries could continue and expand was investing in future jobs.
"We want to see more jobs in more industries. We announced support for the timber industry when we were here for community cabinet and now we're giving even more support to the Maryborough manufacturing industry," Premier Palaszczuk explained.
Minister Dick said the $60 million Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions (RNM) facility will create up to 100 advanced manufacturing jobs for Maryborough.
"Maryborough has enough power, but because the facility’s energy needs are complex we want to strengthen supply and safeguard connection," he said.
Under an agreement between Rheinmetall Defence Australia and Brisbane-based NIOA, the two companies will form a consortium to invest in a $60 million facility in Maryborough, and create up to 100 direct, long-term and highly-skilled jobs in the Maryborough and Fraser Coast region.
"We worked with Ergon Energy and RNM to best understand what the plant needed in terms of connection to the grid, and we’re now investing $9 million to facilitate it," Minister Dick explained.
The consortium is also seeking support from the Queensland government to finalise arrangements around the new facility. Rheinmetall and NIOA have a significant partnership across a range of munitions products and services in Australia including delivery of Rheinmetall’s Future Family of Artillery Ammunition under the LAND 17-1C2 program.
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said construction will begin in March 2020, with the plant to commence full production in 2022.
"The plant will produce 30,000 155-millimetre artillery shell cases annually for both the Australian Defence Force and Rheinmetall’s international supply chain," Mr Saunders said.
RNM deputy chair and director Robert Nioa said the new facility was a complex project that required detailed consideration of its technical specifications by both Ergon Energy and RNM.
"Through these considerations the exact nature of the facility’s electricity connection requirements became apparent. We’re very pleased the Queensland government was able to facilitate the negotiations between all stakeholders and take the necessary steps to secure the plant’s connection requirements,” Nioa said.
Rheinmetall Defence is one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology, including wheeled and tracked military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, simulation solutions, command and control technology, force protection systems and sensor technologies.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia will deliver 211 Boxer 8x8 combat reconnaissance vehicles as part of the $5.2 billion, LAND 400 Phase 2 project. Australia's Boxer CRVs will be built in Queensland at a specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Ipswich.
The German company is also presenting the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle to the approximately $10-15 billion LAND 400 Phase 3 project, which will see the recapitalisation of the Vietnam-era M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) force, with an infantry fighting vehicle and APC.
NIOA is an Australian-owned company and one of the largest suppliers of munitions to the Department of Defence. The company has partnerships with many of the world’s leading munitions manufacturers, including Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (previously Orbital ATK), Vista, Day and Zimmerman, Junghans, and Nitrochemie.