Australian OPV construction kicks off with steel cutting ceremony

Construction works on the Royal Australian Navy’s new generation of offshore patrol vessels officially kicked off with a steel cutting ceremony on Wednesday.

The steel cutting for the first of overall 12 vessels took place at Civmec’s Western Australia facility.

Civmec will be responsible for building 10 out of 12 vessels under a contract signed with main contractor Luerssen Australia from April 2018.

Australian steel is being used for all 12 OPVs and after being prepared and processed in Western Australia it will be delivered to South Australia. Two ships are being built at Osborne in SA by ASC Shipbuilding before construction for the other ten moves to Civmec in WA in 2020.

On the same day, Civmec marked the erection of the first steel for a new AU$85 million facility at Henderson. The facility will include a blast and paint workshop, undercover storage, offices and carparks.

The new assembly hall will be bigger than the WACA Ground in Perth and large enough to house multiple OPVs for construction.

The facility project will create around 140 jobs and Civmec estimates it will provide positions for up to 1,000 West Australians, including 100 new apprentices and trainees, when it’s up and running.

“At times like this, it’s important to stop and reflect on the company’s achievements. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the company for their support and encouragement which has helped to get us to this significant moment,” Civmec’s executive chairman, James Fitzgerald, said. “This facility will create employment for numerous generations to come. It will be a hub for training and innovation and will be a home-grown leader in the future of modern heavy engineering.”