Australian SMEs have backed a German contender’s bid for the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel project, saying it offers the strongest opportunity for joining the European supply chain.
Lürssen, which has teamed with ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs in its bid to secure the project, has won the support of local businesses around the country, with the German ship designer's focus on local engagement praised.
Design, engineering, integration, and electronics and software-intensive system support company Daronmont Technologies said the German firm's bid addressed the government's commitment to increasing Australian industry content (AIC).
"SME are impressed with the engagement of local industry by the Lürssen team; they are clearly taking local engagement very seriously," said Lee Stanley, business development manager at Daronmont.
"From Daronmont’s perspective, the fact that we will be competing with more expensive overseas systems for the OPV will be a good test of the government’s commitment to [AIC]."
Product manager marine industries at Pyrotek Bradley Scott said the possibilities of breaking into Lürssen's European market is beneficial for design, manufacturing and trades involved in the $3 billion project.
“The potential is vast – spanning multiple industry and skill sets – creating multiple employment opportunities, from design, manufacturing and trades, to complete the works," Scott said.
"As a manufacturer of all types of insulation – fire, thermal, noise, vibration – there is significant growth potential in our services into defence projects, which increases our need for staff – both technical and shopfloor.
"We are a global company that is just breaking into the European market. Therefore, being able to supply Lürssen – a very well-known brand – both locally and in Europe will put us in a good position to continue our projected growth expectations in the European region.”
Lürssen is in competition with Dutch company Damen, which has also teamed with ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs, and German company Fassmer, which has partnered with Austal.
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Construction on the vessels is due to start in 2018.
Two vessels will be built in Adelaide before being moved to WA to make way for the $35 billion Future Frigates Project.