Square Kilometre Array project prospect for Australian businesses

Square Kilometre Array

Expressions of interest are now open for Australian businesses to contribute to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, which will build the world’s largest radio telescope in Western Australia’s Murchison region. 

Qualifying Australian businesses could receive the first major construction contract for the project, which will be to build and operate a temporary accommodation facility for workers building the telescope. 

“Working on the Square Kilometre Array will not only bring financial rewards, it opens up business connections and provides the satisfaction of being involved in a project that will give us a better understanding of the origin and future of the universe,” minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said. 

“In coming months, Australian businesses will have further opportunities to express interest for other major SKA infrastructure contracts including buildings, access roads, an airstrip, ground preparation and power and fibre networks.” 

Australia is a co-host member of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO), an intergovernmental organisation based in the UK responsible for all procurement for the construction and operation of the SKA project. 

Utilising market surveys, the SKAO will identify potential suppliers for major contracts over AU$310,000. These suppliers will be sent a pre-qualification questionnaire and shortlisted companies will be invited to tender for the work package. 

Over the next few months, further market surveys related to other work will also open. The upcoming survey is anticipated to open in early June, which will relate to power and fibre networks, access roads, an emergency airstrip and ground preparation. 

The LOW Infra 6 (Construction Camp) Survey will close on 14 June. To be eligible for consideration, businesses must complete the survey on the online Procurement Portal. 

Businesses can join the Australasian Square Kilometre Array Industry Cluster (ASKAIC) to receive regular project updates and communicate with other businesses and stakeholders who are interested in the SKA project. 

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