A STEEL fabrication facility used in the mining boom is getting a new lease of life with Austal making it the construction hub for Pacific Patrol Boats.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne opened the new shipbuilding facility in Naval Base on Wednesday. It will be used to construct 19 new vessels, creating up to 207 jobs.
“The opening of this new production facility demonstrates Austal’s commitment to the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project,” Mr Pyne said.
“It’s a visual reminder of how the 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.
Following construction at the new facility, the vessels will be transported, launched and moved alongside Austal’s current facility.
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.
“Once constructed and tested the vessels will be handed to the Australian Government and subsequently handed over to the 12 Pacific Island countries set to receive them as part of the new Pacific Maritime Security program,” Mr Pyne said.