Australian-based Civmec, owned by Forgacs Marine and Defence, announced a memorandum of understanding with ASC Shipbuilding to jointly bid for the build of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).
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ASC and Forgacs were jointly chosen by two of the three shortlisted designers, Dutch company Damen and German company Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG, to work with them on the tender for the Australian government's OPV program, known as project SEA 1180.
The third company, Fassmer, which is also from Germany, has teamed with Austal.
ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs will work with both companies on their bids for Project SEA 1180. and also to explore opportunities to build other Minor War Vessels for the RAN and export markets.
ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs have agreed to share intellectual property regarding shipbuilding and steel fabrication. If the tender is successful, ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs will form a 50:50 joint venture to build the OPVs, utilising the expertise of the experienced ship designers from Europe.
Two OPVs will be built at ASC Shipbuilding’s facilities in South Australia and the remainder at Civmec/Forgacs’ facilities in Western Australia.
Civmec chairman James Fitzgerald said the ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs joint venture will provide an integrated solution to OPV production, with seamless transition of the construction activity from South Australia to Western Australia.
"It [the joint bid] sees the two main shipbuilding hubs of Adelaide in South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia becoming closely linked in a relationship which will offer considerable advantages to a national naval shipbuilding industry," said Fitzgerald.
Civmec said the joint venture will contribute to the federal government’s naval shipbuilding policy and create the foundations for a 'fresh look' at Australia’s future shipbuilding capabilities.
Civmec said the combination of ASC's in-depth shipbuilding knowledge and Air Warfare Destroyer platform delivery experience with the skills and efficiency of Civmec, Australia’s largest steel fabricator for maritime and offshore applications, is a winning formula.
The engineering and services provider was acquired by Forgacs in early 2016.
ASC, which is owned by the federal government, has approximately 1,200 full-time personnel with expertise in naval platform design, engineering, supply chain and project management, and highly skilled trade and technical personnel.