Small and medium enterprises from Western Australia have been left impressed after meeting with a high level delegation from one of the companies tendering for the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) project.
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The Henderson Alliance, an organisation made up of SMEs in WA's maritime industry, met with the team of delegates from Damen Shipyards who have travelled to Australia to strengthen business relationships borne out of the SEA 1180 OPV Damen Industry Briefings held earlier this year.
The meeting provided the SMEs with the opportunity to meet face-to- face with Damen representatives, along with a delegation of Damen's international suppliers.
"On behalf of the Henderson Alliance and IKAD Engineering, we would like to thank Wolter, Roland and the Damen Shipyards OPV team who ventured to Western Australia," the Henderson Alliance said on social media.
"It was a pleasure to assist Damen to arrange this event, which was held at the offices of Civmec/Forgacs.
"Everyone came away from the meetings extremely positive. Damen have again proved that they are very committed to engaging with Australian SME's. Keep up the good work. Well done Damen Shipyards."
The visiting Damen team included chief executive René Berkvens, area director Asia-Pacific Roland Briene as well as director of procurement Jacob Biemond. The delegates have been joined by a number of Dutch companies and their Australian partners as they look to build their relationships and enable the highest levels of Australian content for the new OPVs.
Among the companies and organisations with which Damen has laid the groundwork for collaborative partnerships with the ASC Forgacs Shipbuilding joint venture are companies from Henderson Alliance, members of the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN), Defence Teaming Centre and other small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"These suppliers are part of Damen’s global supply chain. The opportunity for Australian companies to join this network is a very promising and realistic one," said Biemond.
"The SEA 1180 Program has the potential to establish the framework for long-term naval and commercial shipbuilding capacity in Australia. An enthusiastic and effective supply chain is the best way ahead to reduce the risks involved – in terms of both construction schedule and technical coverage."
The Henderson Alliance was established in March this year in the hope of securing work from the billion-dollar naval shipbuilding projects.
The group has grown to from 17 to 26 full members since March and has a further 44 contributing firms.
Companies part of the alliance include Host Group, IKAD Engineering, L2S Engineering, Marine Construction Services, Marine Inspection Service, Marine Technicians Australia, Mackenzie Marine and Towage, PMC Group, Pozztech and Weldtech.