Defence prime contractor and maritime technology company Austal has opened its new shipbuilding facility in WA and announced the Pacific Patrol Boat project will create over 200 jobs.
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A former steel fabrication facility used during the mining boom has been turned into Austal's new shipbuilding facility for the construction of 19 new Pacific Patrol Boats.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne opened the new shipbuilding facility in the suburb of Naval Base in Western Australia yesterday.
Minister Pyne said the opening of the facility is a reminder of Austal's commitment to the industry, as well as WA's future in the defence industry.
"The opening of this new production facility demonstrates Austal’s commitment to the Pacific Patrol Boat replacement project," Minister Pyne said.
"Importantly, Austal has advised the $306 million project will create up to 207 jobs.
"It’s a visual reminder of how WA defence industry is growing and continues to play a vital role in the future of the Australian Defence Force."
The new facility will be located a short distance from Austal’s current production facility in Henderson.
Minister Pyne said following construction at the new facility, the vessels will be transported, launched and moved alongside Austal’s current facility.
"Once constructed and tested, the vessels will be handed to the Australian government and subsequently given to 12 Pacific Island countries as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security program," Minister Pyne said.
Construction of the first replacement Pacific Patrol Boat is scheduled to commence in late April 2017 at the new facility, with delivery of the first vessel currently scheduled for the final quarter in 2018.