The Australian Government has revealed plans to invest up to A$4.3bn ($3.11bn) to establish a dry dock at the Henderson shipyard in Western Australia (WA).
Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI), a company wholly owned by the federal government, has been appointed to manage the project’s design and construction.
The multi-billion-dollar infrastructure will be used to build or maintain large naval vessels in the country, as well as support commercial shipbuilding in WA.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “This is a $4.3bn vote of confidence in Western Australia’s shipbuilding capabilities, jobs, training, and the critical role that Western Australia plays in defending Australian and powering our national economy.
“This multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investment will transform the Henderson maritime precinct into a world-class shipbuilding powerhouse and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to naval capability in the West.
“This investment in WA’s future will ensure we can build, as well as sustain larger vessels in Australia, turbocharging our national naval shipbuilding endeavour and creating thousands of job opportunities for West Australians.”
Work on the infrastructure project will begin next year. Maiden operations are expected to start in 2028.
Construction of the advanced facility also supports Australia’s national naval shipbuilding enterprise plan to build a long-term sustainable naval shipbuilding and sustainment capability, generate industry growth and secure jobs.
This large-vessel dry dock project is expected to produce at least 500 direct construction jobs. Local sub-contracts and the national supply chain will help created thousands of additional employment opportunities.
It will support no less than 2,000 direct shipbuilding jobs at Henderson.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The project will build the capacity and capability of sovereign defence industry in the region, particularly in the advanced manufacturing sector, with Australian Industry Capability requirements in contracting arrangements.
“The infrastructure will also support Defence’s $90m Regional Maintenance Centre due to be operational in Henderson in the second half of 2022 to enable a level of maintenance to be conducted on all surface fleet units and creating 40 jobs.”
Last week, the UK Government announced the injection of $5.3bn (£4bn) funding into the country’s regional shipbuilding industry.