German shipbuilder's Australian expansion plan begins

German shipbuilder's Perth expansion begins
Luerssen OPV 80 - the model the company has proposed for Australia's OPV program

One of Europe's leading shipbuilders has announced plans to establish an Australian office in the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Henderson, Western Australia.

German company Luerssen, which has teamed up with Western Australian firm Civmec and government-owned ASC for its bid for the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program, will construct a new office that will allow the company to target shipbuilding work in the Asia-Pacific market.

The 140-year-old company is competing against fellow German shipbuilder Fassmer and Dutch manufacturer Damen to be the designer and prime contractor for the OPV program.

Ten of the 12 vessels under the SEA 1180 project will be built in Western Australia from 2020, with the other two to be built in South Australia from 2018 prior to the commencement of construction on the Future Frigate program in 2020.

Fassmer has a deal with Western Australian defence shipbuilder Austal to build the OPVs if it wins the bid, while, like Luerssen, Damen has also chosen Civmec and ASC as local partners.

Civmec recently commenced construction on its state-of-the-art shipbuilding and maintenance facility.

The facility will be Australia's largest undercover shipbuilding facility and will be 29,000 square metres and 18-storey high.

The company has been working on the detailed design elements of the facility with the local branch of the global engineering firm GHD Engineering to ensure the facilities have the best technology and to achieve the best, most efficient, project outcomes.

Luerssen's office in the AMC precinct will be next to the Jakovich Centre.

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