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OPV program a starting point for potential export opportunities

OPV program a starting point for potential export opportunities
Damen's OPV 1180 model

As the competition heats up for the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) tender, the international tenderers continue to look at consolidating their commitment to growing Australia’s shipbuilding.

Dutch company Damen recently visited Adelaide to continue developing its partnership with ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs Marine and Defence (owned by Civmec), which it is partnered with to build 12 OPVs for the Australian Navy.

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The partnership has already brought some success for the Australian firm, with Forgacs Marine and Defence now in line to build some specialist marine equipment for a Damen commercial customer in Western Australia.

Damen's area director Asia-Pacific Roland Briene said the firm, which is approaching the delivery of their 100th vessel to the Australian market, is confident the company will be able to help grow the Australian industry into the company's global supply chain.

"We are fully committed to maximising Australian industry participation and I am extremely confident we will grow to become an integral part of the foundation of Australia’s national shipbuilding enterprise," Briene said.

"We look forward to working with the Commonwealth to maximise opportunities for Australian industry and providing opportunities for local industry to be involved in our global supply chain supporting more than 70 shipyards around the world."

Earlier this year, Damen hosted four separate industry briefings to ensure the maximisation of Australian content for the program, which the company said has resulted in an ongoing dialogue in making key Australian suppliers part of Damen’s global supply chain, giving them the opportunity to team with experienced overseas suppliers.

Damen's Australian company, Damen Services Brisbane, is also celebrating its fifth anniversary and, on the back of its OPV bid, has announced the intention to establish a second long-term service hub in support of the SEA 1180 program.

Similarly, OPV contender Lürssen, which has teamed up with Forgacs and ASC for its bid for the $3 billion OPV program, will construct a new office that will allow the company to target shipbuilding work in the Asia-Pacific market.

Austal, which has entered into a 50-50 joint venture partnership with German designer Fassmer for the OPV project, is also establishing a new design and project management office.

OPV program a starting point for potential export opportunities
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