Sub stan­dard set

PITCH TO BUILD VES­SELS LO­CALLY

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

Our pref­er­ence to get the best re­sults for the coun­try is to build all sub­marines in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing the first one

- TKMS Aus­tralia chair­man John White

GER­MAN in­dus­trial gi­ant ThyssenKru­pp Marine Sys­tems says it wants to build sub­marines in Aus­tralia.

The com­pany is one of three in­ter­na­tion­als com­pet­ing for the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s $20 bil­lion SEA 1000 Fu­ture Sub­ma­rine Pro­ject, with Ja­panese and French firms also in the run­ning.

The new sub­marines will re­place the ag­ing Collins Class sub­marines.

Dur­ing a brief­ing in Hen­der­son last week, TKMS Aus­tralia chair­man John White told lo­cal sup­pli­ers and fab­ri­ca­tors its pref­er­ence was to build Aus­tralia’s eight new sub­marines lo­cally, if it was an- nounced as the suc­cess­ful con­trac­tor at the end of 2015.

“Our pref­er­ence to get the best re­sults for the coun­try is to build all sub­marines in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing the first one,” he said.

As part of the Gov­ern­ment’s com­pet­i­tive eval­u­a­tion process, com­pet­ing com­pa­nies are re- quired to sub­mit three build pro­pos­als.

One is for all the sub­marines to be built in the com­pany’s home coun­try and the sec­ond a hy­brid op­tion with half built in Aus­tralia and half in the can­di­date’s home coun­try.

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The pre­ferred third method from TKMS, a com­pany that has con­structed 161 ves­sels since 1960, is for all the sub­marines to be built in Aus­tralia.

“We are ab­so­lutely cer­tain that should the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment find it ac­cept­able that we could as­sem­ble sub­marines here in Hen­der­son, we would still build sec­tions in other lo­ca­tions around Aus­tralia,” Dr White said.

“We are very se­ri­ously look­ing at the in­fra­struc­ture ca­pa­bil­ity here which is su­perb al­ready.”

Com­merce Min­is­ter Michael Mischin said he wanted to see the lo­cal in­dus­try bid­ding for work as­so­ci­ated with SEA 1000, con­fi­dent the skills de­vel­oped by lo­cal com­pa­nies would stand up.

“WA has es­tab­lished its cre­den­tials by play­ing a crit­i­cal role in sup­port­ing the cur­rent Collins Class ves­sels and ex­pects to con­tinue to sup­port fu­ture sub­marines,” he said.

Heavy en­gi­neer­ing com­pany Civmec said it was co-op­er­at­ing with all three can­di­dates.

Ex­ec­u­tive chair­man James Fitzger­ald said if the op­por­tu­nity arose, Civmec had the ca­pac­ity to be in­volved in fab­ri­ca­tion, as­sem­bling and sur­face treat­ment.

“We be­lieve there is gen­uine in­tent to make ef­forts to­wards build­ing, as­sem­bling and com­mis­sion­ing here in Aus­tralia,” he said.

Aus­tralian Man­u­fac­tur­ing Work­ers’ Union WA state sec­re­tary Steve McCart­ney said he wel­comed keep­ing skilled jobs here.

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