Australian shipbuilder Austal has given a steel fabrication facility used in the mining boom a new breath of life as its construction hub for nineteen Pacific Patrol Boats.
The $306 million project will create up to 207 jobs.
Construction of the first replacement Pacific Patrol Boat is scheduled to commence in late April at the new facility, with delivery of the first vessel currently scheduled for the final quarter in 2018.
The new facility will be located a short distance from Austal’s production facility in Henderson. 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 for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said.
Austal is Australia’s only publicly listed shipbuilding company. In 29 years of operation, Austal has supplied more than 255 customised vessels to 44 countries, including major clients such as the US Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman.
Founded in 1988 and now an ASX-200 company with shipyards in Western Australia, the US and the Philippines, the company, which now employs more than 300 naval engineers, has developed, constructed and provided support for hundreds of vessels, from offshore windfarm vessels, to patrol boats and surface warfare combatants. The company has also been at the forefront of the high-speed passenger and vehicle-passenger ferry market.