HENDERSON shipbuilders have received a welcome boost after Austal was awarded a $900 million tender by the Federal Government.
The tender is for the Pacific Patrol Boats Replacement Project, involving the construction of up to 21 steel-hulled patrol vessels and maintenance of the vessels over 30 years.
Construction of the vessels will take place at Henderson with maintenance to done at the Austal facility at Cairns, Queensland.
About $500 million of the tender will be directed to Austal in Henderson to build the vessels, with the remainder towards maintenance.
The vessels will replace the existing Pacific Patrol Boat fleet, used to assist Pacific Island countries take an active part in securing their own extensive Exclusive Economic Zones.
Austal chief executive David Singleton said he expected contract documentation to be completed in the next few weeks.
“I am delighted that we have been selected as preferred tender, adding to our long history of constructing patrol boats at our shipyard in Henderson, WA,” he said.
“Austal has delivered Australia’s entire border patrol capability – comprising 30 vessels delivered over the past 17 years – and we look forward to extending this by constructing and servicing vessels that will be used by many of our neighbours in the South Pacific.”
Premier Colin Barnett welcomed the news as a needed economic and jobs boost for the area.
“WA has a strong reputation in these highly competitive and demanding markets and today’s announcement is recognition of this,” he said.
Mr Barnett said from 2020 WA will take over the construction of the Offshore Patrol Vessels from South Australia in a contract worth more than $3 billion, creating more than 400 direct jobs.