Fincantieri Australia’s local operations start-up has taken the next step, with steel being cut for the first of three cruise ship blocks to be built by MG Engineering and Ottoway Engineering this year.
The Australian steel will be integrated into the cruise ship superstructure for one of Fincantieri’s international projects.
The cruise ship block initiative is part of Fincantieri's plans to prepare and qualify Australia's industry should Fincantieri be awarded the $35 billion Future Frigate program.
"As part of Fincantieri’s commitment to transferring technology and its expertise in commercial shipbuilding to Australian businesses, Fincantieri representatives will also be on site at MG Engineering and Ottoway Engineering this week and will share best practices with Australian technicians," the Italian company said.
"This includes sharing methods and fabrication sequences, familiarising engineers of the company’s technical drawings and supporting the cutting and production process.
"Building the cruise ship blocks locally allows Fincantieri to establish and strengthen its relationships with local suppliers and understand their capabilities. It is part of the company’s detailed Industry Plan, which is focused on maximising local industry participation and helping Australia become autonomous in the design, construction and export of vessels, including the material and equipment within."
MG Engineering was awarded a contract for the construction of two blocks that sit on the port and starboard sides of the ship and will be dedicated to accommodation areas. The block constructed by Ottoway Engineering will be located in the central part of the ship and will be dedicated to technical zones where emergency generators are located.
Construction is expected to employ approximately 40-50 local workers across the two South Australian sites.
An estimated 1,000 square metres of Australian steel will be used – enough to cover four tennis courts. All three blocks will be constructed and delivered by mid-2018.
Fincantieri has put forward its FREMM vessel for its SEA 5000 offering and is up against BAE System's Type 26 and Navantia's F-5000. A decision on which company will build the nine Future Frigates is expected by July this year.