A SEA 5000 Future Frigates contender will hold a supplier briefing with businesses in Northern Territory later this month to discuss opportunities within the European firm’s global supply chain.
Fincantieri will host the briefing, run in partnership with the NT government, Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) Northern Territory and the Defence Teaming Centre, on 25 January at the Northern Australia Development House in Darwin.
The Italian SEA 5000 contender said the briefing will offer a chance for prospective supply chain partners across the NT to get a deeper understanding of the opportunities and advantages on offer by partnering with Fincantieri for the project.
The international ship designer said the briefing is open to businesses across manufacturing, ship repair, and sustainment and engineering. Fincantieri said it will also demonstrate the opportunities for service providers including legal, logistics and training within their supply chain.
Chairman of Fincantieri Australia Dario Deste said that should Fincantieri be selected in the tender, there would be significant opportunities for Australian companies to not only participate in the design and build process for Future Frigates, but to become involved in other global shipbuilding projects.
"Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, and we currently have forward orders booked for €25 billion," Deste said.
"Our need to engage new suppliers is very strong. This briefing in Darwin allows us to meet with a range of new potential suppliers and broaden the pool of partners to support our global pipeline of shipbuilding activity.
"We are already working with a number of Australian suppliers, with the size and strength of our operations allowing us to bring work in from our global projects to Australia. We have placed orders for manufacturing equipment for ships with Australian companies, and issued a request for proposals (RFP) to Australian shipbuilders to build cruise blocks with Australian steel. Australian companies are already joining our global supply chain, and the opportunities are growing."
The briefing in Darwin is part of a series of briefings and technical workshops that Fincantieri is holding around Australia. Beginning in November, the shipbuilder held two technical workshops for potential suppliers in Adelaide: a mechanical component session focused on engineering expertise, and a workshop for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC). This was followed by a briefing with potential suppliers in Brisbane in December. Further briefings and workshops across Australia are set to be announced in the coming months.
"The workshop series will discuss how we will transfer technology, skills and expertise as well as methods of operation. The workshops are designed for us to learn more about the specific expertise and skills of local SME’s in particular and for them to learn more about Fincantieri," Deste said.
Fincantieri has 20 shipyards across four continents, employs 19,400 people and works with 80,0000 subcontractors. In November, Fincantieri opened an Australian office in Adelaide.
Businesses interested in attending the NT briefing can contact AIDN Northern Territory to register.
Fincantieri has offered its FREMM frigate for its SEA 5000 bid, a design that is already in service with the French and Italian navies.
Along with Fincantieri, BAE Systems of the UK and Navantia of Spain are also tendering for the SEA 5000 project, which will see the winning bidder design and build the vessels in Adelaide, with construction set to begin in 2020.
A decision on the successful tenderer is expected by April next year.
The nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates will replace Australia's Anzac frigate fleet.