NORSTA Maritime has secured a $50.3m (A$70m) contract to serve as the regional maintenance provider for the Cairns Regional Maintenance Centre.

This major maintenance contract has been awarded by Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

NORSTA Maritime serves as the regional maintenance provider for the new centre.

The centre is also known as ‘RMC North East’. It is the first of four maintenance centres planned to be developed in Cairns, Henderson, Darwin and Sydney.

Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton said: “RMC North East will deliver world-class continuous maintenance that is consistent and streamlined, ensuring navy has the vessels it needs, where and when it needs them.

“Cairns is a major navy base and a gateway to the Pacific, a strategically important location for navy.

“This five-year $70m contract, will deliver maintenance management services, reaffirming the Morrison Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting regional development and developing our national resilience.”

NORSTA Maritime will develop and maintain supply chains to develop a ‘regional sovereign sustainment capability’ needed for the defence.

With the latest contract, the Cairns company will also enhance existing regional capabilities.

According to Dutton, the contract includes incentives to ensure local and regional small and medium businesses.

The contract will provide long-term employment opportunities in the region.

RMC North East, which will initially support the evolved Cape class patrol boats (CCPBs), is expected to be operational within the next few months.

Minister Dutton also announced the federal government’s decision to award a $10.2m (A$14.3m) contract extension with BAE Systems Australia for the in-service support arrangements of the RAN’s fleet of Hydrographic platforms, which are also based in Cairns.