$100m Austal deal to boost Rockingham and Kwinana economy

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Austal's ship yard.
Camera IconAustal's ship yard. Credit: Stock image

A proposed $100 million deal to build two patrol boats at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson hinges on it gaining Federal Government support.

The project could support 300 jobs and bring substantial economic growth to Rockingham and Kwinana. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago last week announced it would purchase two Austal Cape Class vessels to enhance the country’s border protection, joining six existing Austal-built patrol craft acquired in 2009.

While the project is expected to be backed by the Federal Government through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the sale of the vessels is dependant on final contracts being signed in coming weeks.

Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Tony Solin said securing potential projects by Austal was critical to the economic growth of Rockingham and Kwinana in particular.

He said the project would bring ongoing employment as well as local content opportunities.

“It is really important that local, State and Federal governments work with business groups to maximise local content and international trade opportunities for our future growth,” Mr Solin said.

Kwinana Industries Council director Chris Oughton said the deal also highlighted the importance of the Western Trade Coast as a gateway to economic growth in the State.

He said the health of Austal’s forward order book was great news for the industries that support shipbuilding fabrication works.

If the deal proceeds, the vessels would join work already scheduled at the Henderson facility, including a 109m catamaran for Denmark ferry company Molslinjen, construction of 21 pacific patrol boats and construction of a 117m trimaran for Canary Islands ferry company Fred Olsen.

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