Region/Countries: Australia, Australia and New Zealand Industry: Manufacturing, Other Date: December 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for companies from Wisconsin's shipbuilding industry

The Australian shipbuilding industry has seen significant growth over the last five years. In 2015, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a $64 billion ($89 billion Australian) naval construction program to start as early as 2018. A national roadshow in November 2016 brought the sector further into focus as the government sought to expand upon the specific opportunities and timeframes for individual projects.

While these projects are being led by global designers, Australian industry is expected to lead the way in manufacturing and assembly, the majority of which will take place at Techport, located in Adelaide.

Australian shipbuilders will be relying on their existing global and local supply chains to deliver on these projects. To gain access to these supply chains, Wisconsin companies are encouraged to connect with their existing shipbuilding counterparts regarding supply and service partnerships, and to consider partnering with Australian companies. Notably, Fincantieri (Italy), which has a subsidiary in Wisconsin, is one of three major players shortlisted for the design of the multi-billion-dollar Future Frigate project.

Projects that will be of particular interest to Wisconsin companies include:

  • Infrastructure upgrade: Odense (Denmark) will design the Osborne Shipyard upgrade in Adelaide. The project will expand construction capacity at the site and will see the delivery and installation of infrastructure valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Designs are forecast for completion in early 2017.
  • Pacific patrol boats: In April 2016, it was announced that Austral had won the contract to manufacture 21 patrol boats from its base in Henderson, Western Australia. The project is worth $362 million ($500 million Australian).
  • Offshore patrol vessels: The construction of 12 new offshore patrol vessels is forecast to begin in 2018 at the Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide before being moved to Henderson. The three shortlisted designers for the $2.2 billion ($3 billion Australian) project are Damen (Netherlands), Fassmer (Germany) and Lurssen (Germany).
  • Future frigate program: Construction of three new anti-submarine warfare frigates is expected to begin in 2020 at the Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide. The project is valued at $25 million ($35 billion Australian) and the three shortlisted designers are BAE Systems (UK), Fincantieri (Italy) and Navantia (Spain).
  • Future submarine program: In December, it was officially announced that DCNS from France had won the $36 billion ($50 billion Australian) contract to build 12 new submarines at the Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide. As part of an earlier announcement in April 2016, the Australian government confirmed that the majority of the submarines would be built in Adelaide, with parts being sourced from Australia and around the world.

Wisconsin companies that supply products and services for the global shipbuilding industry are strongly encouraged to:

  • review the projects identified above to identify areas of opportunity;
  • register to receive project updates with the Centre for Defence Industry Capability;
  • register interest in becoming a supply/capability partner to ASC (formally Australian Submarine Corporation), a government-owned enterprise and major player in the shipbuilding industry.
  • keep abreast of opportunities by reviewing ICN Gateway (an industry supplier portal with $290 billion ($400 billion Australian) in project opportunities across sectors (note: Wisconsin companies will require an Australian Business Number to register for updates);
  • consider identifying and working with local partners that can respond to opportunities; and
  • consider participating at Pacific 2017 (October 3-5, 2017, in Sydney), Australia’s premier maritime exhibition and conference.