South Australian companies cut steel for cruise ship blocks

Fincantieri's Seabourn Encore cruise ship Picture courtesy of Fincantieri

As part of Fincantieri Australia’s local operations start-up, the company today announced the first steel has been cut in South Australia for three cruise blocks.

The cruise ship block contracts were awarded to MG Engineering and Ottoway Engineering in March. The Australian steel will be integrated into the cruise ship superstructure for one of Fincantieri’s international projects.

Fincantieri is one of the companies tendering for Australia’s next major naval program – the SEA 5000 Future Frigates program.

The company has undertaken the cruise ship block initiative as well as other test orders for mechanical equipment, work-force preparation and qualifying Australian supply chain to ready itself for the construction of nine frigates for the Royal Australian Navy in Adelaide in 2020.

As part of Fincantieri’s commitment to transferring technology and its expertise in commercial shipbuilding to Australian businesses, Fincantieri representatives will also be on site at MG Engineering and Ottoway Engineering this week and will share best practices with Australian technicians. This includes sharing methods and fabrication sequences, familiarising engineers of the company’s technical drawings and supporting the cutting and production process.

Building the cruise ship blocks locally allows Fincantieri to establish and strengthen its relationships with local suppliers and understand their capabilities. It is part of the company’s detailed Industry Plan, which is focused on maximising local industry participation and helping Australia become autonomous in the design, construction and export of vessels, including the material and equipment within.

In May, Fincantieri Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Adelaide to develop a collaborative program of education and research co-operation.

MG Engineering was awarded a contract for the construction of two blocks that sit on port and starboard sides of the ship and will be dedicated to accommodation areas. The block constructed by Ottoway Engineering will be located in the central part of the ship and will be dedicated to technical zones where emergency generators are located. Construction is expected to employ approximately 40 – 50 local workers across the two South Australian sites.

An estimated 1,000 square meters of Australian steel will be used – enough to cover four tennis courts . All three blocks will be constructed and delivered by mid-2018.