Warship makers scouting for WA talent

Europeans scouting for talentItaly’s Fincantieri and the Netherlands’ Damen are holding separate industry briefings, offering WA contractors the perfect chance to get on board the Royal Australian Navy’s $89 billion makeover.

Fincantieri’s briefing on February 2 is a coup for WA, as the state-owned company chose Fremantle as its first port of call in a near month-long roadshow that also takes in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.

It is one of three companies shortlisted last year by the Federal Government to build nine new anti-submarine frigates, worth an estimated $35 billion, over the next decade.

The frigates will be built in Adelaide from 2020 but there is an expectation that WA industry will contribute to the build and sustainment of the project, says Commerce Minister Michael Mischin, who met with Fincantieri officials last week.

The Italian giant is holding the briefing to gain a greater understanding of the State’s shipbuilding capabilities and “include local suppliers in its procurement supply chain”, he says.

“WA has demonstrated a strong commitment to our national naval defence and our local industry is ready to take part in this important naval project.”

The Italians are flying their national flag courtesy of the Fincantieri-built FREMM Frigate Carabiniere, which sailed out of Fremantle earlier this week after a six-day visit.

Coincidentally, Damen chose the same week to chase WA suppliers able to contribute to Australia’s $3-4 billion Offshore Patrol Boat project, due to begin construction next year.

The South Holland-based company, one of three shortlisted OPV designers, held its briefing on Friday at the Hyatt in East Perth.

“Damen is fully committed to maximising the use of Australian industry if successful with our ambition to build the 12 steel-hulled Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Australian Navy,” it said.

 “We will be pleased to hear from any Australian-based companies who have the capabilities to assist in the undertaking of any part of the project.”

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