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Concept design partners picked for new submarine construction yard

The United States submarine USS Ashville in Perth, Western Australia, following the international AUKUS announcement in 2023. Photo: POIS Craig Walton

The federal government has announced concept design partners for South Australia’s new Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard.

The federal government has announced concept design partners for South Australia’s new Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard.

Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and an AECOM and Aurecon Joint Venture have been announced as the design partners for the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard (NPSCY), as Australia progresses it’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine program.

KBR has previous experience in supporting design and project management for defence infrastructure facilities nationally and will design the area of the NPSCY that will be used for steel processing and fabrication facilities.


The AECOM and Aurecon Joint Venture also will deliver the concept design for the rest of the NPSCY site which will support outfitting, consolidation and commissioning of Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

“This is yet another major milestone reflecting the Albanese government’s commitment to construct conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said.

“Not only will this ambitious project create thousands of local jobs, it will deliver the most critical defence capability acquisition in our nation’s history.

“At its peak, up to 4,000 workers will be employed to design and build the infrastructure for the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard in Osborne while a further 4,000–5,500 direct jobs are expected to build the nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia.”

The design teams collectively bring together nuclear infrastructure specialists and experienced personnel from previous shipyard infrastructure projects at Osborne, Henderson, and in AUKUS partner nations.

The new announcement of the design partners follows the March announcement of Australia’s sovereign submarine build and sustainment partners and continues to demonstrate progress towards building SSN-AUKUS submarines in Adelaide.

The NPSCY development will be in excess of 75 hectares and will be built to the highest security and safety standards.

“The submarine construction yard at Osborne will provide highly skilled jobs for decades to come, providing financial security for thousands of hardworking Australians,” Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said.

“This project will ensure Australia will be at the forefront of manufacturing the most advanced submarines in the world and is another example of the Albanese government getting on with the job of delivering AUKUS.”

Preliminary enabling works required to support the future construction of the NPSCY at Osborne commenced in December 2023 with site mobilisations and early works for a new carpark.

Constructing the infrastructure at the NPSCY will rely on highly-skilled Australian engineering and design consultants, project controls specialists, project managers, tradespeople and construction workers.

In partnership with the South Australian government, the federal government is also designing and building the new Skills and Training Academy at Osborne to educate and train the elite naval shipbuilding workforce.

The announcement is part of the federal government’s $53 billion–$63 billion investment in this program over the next decade, including an estimated $2 billion investment in South Australian infrastructure in just the next few years. Australia is seeking to secure the start of construction of Australia’s first SSN-AUKUS by the end of this decade.

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