A Tasmanian consortium has joined with German company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to bid to build 21 new patrol boats for Australian Defence.
The Examiner reports that the consortium, named TasPac , includes three Tasmanian companies – shipbuilder Incat, steel fabricator Haywards, and manufacturer William Adams.
The patrol boats will be used to patrol the borders of Pacific Island nations. The building phase of the contract is worth $600 million and ongoing maintenance of the boats would be worth a further $1.2 billion.
Tasmanian Premier threw his support behind the bid.
Speaking from Incat's ship building yard in Hobart, he said, ‘‘These are vessels that Tasmanian business, not only Incat and Haywards can construct, and many others in the maritime sector can support.
‘‘We don’t believe that we get anywhere near Tasmania’s fair share of defence spending.’’
Incat managing director Craig Clifford said he believed the TasPac consortium stood a good chance of winning the tender.
"It will obviously occupy a very large percentage of our workforce, if we have other projects on the go at the same time, yes, I can see should our group be awarded this project it'll be huge for everyone," he told the ABC.
Dieter Rottsieper of TKMS expressed confidence in the Tasmanian involvement in the bid.
“We are happy to partner with the Tasmanian team for the Pacific patrol boat project. It could mark a new era of shipbuilding in Australia and we think we have found the right partners … we have found Incat to be a high-quality partner with competitive prices,” he said.