South Australian shipbuilder Adelaide Ship Construction International (ASCI), as part of an international consortium comprising of Global engineering and construction company Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and South East Asia’s premier commercial and naval shipbuilder Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine), submitted a bid for the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project last week.
The Commonwealth needs up to 21 steel-hull replacement vessels for Australia’s Pacific neighbours.
The project is valued at over $1 billion, with the patrol boats accounting for $594 million and estimated sustainment and personnel costs of $1.38 billion over 30 years.
“We are delighted KBR and ST Marine intend to work with ASCI to build the patrol boats in Adelaide. Securing the project would be great news for South Australia. We have a long and proud history of constructing naval vessels in this State, starting with World War II Corvettes built in Whyalla, “ Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said in a news release.
“The Pacific Patrol Boat project provides a genuine opportunity for one of South Australia’s commercial shipbuilders to work on a large national project. As well as creating new jobs at ASCI, the program would provide significant and long-term economic benefits to South Australia.”
Four months ago, the Federal Government announced the Request for Tender (RFT) for the replacement – Australian-made – Pacific Patrol Boats under the Pacific Maritime Security Program, Project SEA3036 Phase 1.
The replacement vessels will be basic steel-hulled vessels, up to 40-metres long and able to stay at sea for up to 20 days.
The boats will be donated to Pacific nations as replacement for the older vessels.
Over the past 20 years ASCI has built more than 60 commercial steel-hulled vessels of a similar size and complexity as the required patrol boats and has also taken part in the Air Warfare Destroyer project.
“The Pacific Patrol Boat Project is a positive opportunity, but more is needed. We continue to call on the Commonwealth to urgently deliver a robust naval shipbuilding plan to ensure an enduring Australian shipbuilding industry and welcome its recognition of the need for a continuous build program,” said Mr Hamilton-Smith.
“What we need now is an absolute commitment to an Australian build of our future submarines and surface ships. We wish KBR, ST Marine and ASCI well with the Pacific Patrol Boat tender and look forward to developing a successful long-term partnership.”