After a year of growth, and employment and revenue increases, defence multinational Babcock has announced expansion plans in South Australia at the opening of its Regional Support Centre in Adelaide.
The centre, opened in Adelaide by SA Premier Jay Weatherill, is central to Babcock's expansion plans according to Australasia chief executive David Ruff.
"The decision to establish a larger, central support centre in South Australia marks a significant milestone for Babcock in the region and it provides a consolidated platform to sustain our growth, across both Australia and New Zealand," said Ruff.
"We came to South Australia because we see a great pool of skills and talented, young people, particularly in the engineering space where we see the creation of a sustainable Indigenous Australian industrial sector."
Babcock has shifted its aviation businesses to Adelaide under an agreement with the state government, and the company has relocated its Mission Critical Services division from Brisbane
The company said these aviation businesses deliver critical operational services to emergency sectors across a number of states, including SA.
"We appreciate the support of the state government and Investment Attraction South Australia in supporting our consolidation in Adelaide," Ruff said.
He also announced that oil and gas company ConocoPhillips had awarded Babcock Offshore Services Australasia a contract to provide offshore helicopter support services to its Bayu-Undan production operations in the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the Timor Sea. Babcock’s two new Airbus H175 helicopters will operate from Dili, Timor-Leste and be supported from the company’s new Joint Operations Centre based in the Regional Support Centre in Adelaide.
The SA government said the multimillion-dollar investment not only delivered more than 48 highly skilled jobs, it centralises the company’s aviation, defence and engineering expertise in SA.
Independent analysis by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies estimates the Babcock expansion will have a $19.2 million impact on gross state product in 2016-17, with total employment impact of 137 full time positions and other significant, long-term benefits.
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The state government supported the investment through a $2.5 million grant from its Economic Investment Fund.
Weatherill said the investment is a key indication of SA's future in defence and other industries.
"I congratulate Babcock on this tremendous new facility and thank the company for its investment in South Australia," he said.
"It is clear that the aims of the Babcock International Group and the South Australian government are mutually aligned, both striving for strong, sustainable job creation and economic growth to fuel further business activity in the state.
"The establishment of this centre is a great win for our state as it delivers new jobs and high level expertise into South Australia.
"Having Babcock’s key decision makers locally based in Adelaide will put our state front of mind for future investment plans as the Babcock Australasia business seeks to grow further."
Ruff said globally, Babcock has 35,000 talented, committed and highly qualified people working across six continents, generating worldwide revenues of over $9.5 billion.