An Australian shipbuilder has opened a new office in Adelaide, with hopes the company’s Adelaide workforce will grow into the hundreds if it is awarded the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) contract.
As per its announcement in May, Austal Australia celebrated the opening of its latest office, which will support support the company's design and project management operations.
Although the AustalFassmer Adelaide office has been established to primarily support the OPV program there will also be ongoing work from Austal Adelaide to support the Austal/ASC Frigate teaming agreement.
Austal, which has shipbuilding facilities in Western Australia, the US and the Philippines, was officially welcomed into Adelaide by South Australia’s Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith, Senator David Fawcett and several local small to medium enterprises that are already part of Austal’s 1,000-plus Australian supply chain.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said the expansion into South Australia was a logical choice, given the state's strong naval shipbuilding heritage.
"As Australia’s largest defence exporter, it is only natural for us to have a presence in Australia’s largest naval shipbuilding hub," Singleton said.
"We are increasing our presence in Adelaide to contribute to the government sovereign shipbuilding commitment, something that will see Australia able to design, build and export a whole range of naval vessels."
Austal has teamed up with German company Fassmer for the $3 billion OPV project, competing against German company Lürssen and Dutch company Damen, which have both teamed with ASC Shipbuilding for the project.
The winner of the project will construct two OPVs in Adelaide and the rest in WA.
Singleton said with Austal's experience as defence vessel exporter, the AustalFassmer solution is the most logical decision for Australia to fulfil its Naval Shipbuilding Plan's goals.
"As the only Australian shipbuilder to export defence vessels, we are committed to ensuring the Naval Shipbuilding Plan is achievable," said Singleton.
"Our collaboration with our design partner Fassmer for the OPV project is not only about building for the Royal Australian Navy, but to export the vessel around the world.
"Of the three bidders for the OPV program, AustalFassmer is the only one with both a track record of exports from Australia and concrete plans to sell internationally. Actions speak louder than words."
Austal has also teamed with ASC Shipbuilding to provide an Australian workforce for the construction of the $35 billion Future Frigates Project. BAE Systems (UK), Fincantieri (Italy) and Navantia (Spain) are the three shortlisted tenderers for this project.