THE Australian Marine Complex in Henderson has received an additional $90 million in funding on top of $180 million already spent on the facility.A floating dock and rail transfer system will be installed to launch and retrieve large ships, together with an extension and upgrade of the existing wharves.Announcing the funding, Premier Geoff Gallop said the common-use infrastructure development would generate billions of dollars for the state’s economy over the next 25 years and create substantial and sustainable job and training opportunities into the future. The $90 million in funding consists of $81 million from the State Government, $5 million from the Australian Submarine Corporation, and $4 million from the Royal Australian Navy. The ASC’s investment will go towards the rail transfer system while the navy’s funding will contribute to wharf services. Detailed engineering studies were completed locally by WorleyParsons for the wharf upgrade and rail transfer system, while engineering work for the floating dock is being undertaken by UK firm Clark & Standfield. The basis of the detailed engineering will be used for the development of tender documentation and specifications. The Department of Housing and Works, on behalf of the Department of Industry and Resources and LandCorp, released a Registration of Interest for the construction of the wharf upgrade early last month. This closed on August 16.The ROIs are currently being evaluated and, on completion of this, a formal request for tender will be released for the wharf upgrade, according to DoIR. The floating dock tender cannot be released until the detailed engineering specifications are completed. It is expected that this contract will be tendered in the next few months and awarded early next year.Similar to the wharf upgrade, it is likely that a ROI will precede the request for tender to gauge the local capacity and capability to construct the floating dock, DoIR said. Dr Gallop said the new development would be a substantial boost to WA’s bid for the $2 billion Amphibious Vessel project for the Australian Defence Force. "We also expect that a sizeable portion of module construc-tion work related to the $6 billion Air Warfare Destroyer project, recently won by South Australia, will go to WA," he said. Work on the floating dock and rail transfer system will commence immediately, with completion of the entire project expected within two years. About $180 million has already been invested in the facility, with $100 million coming from the State Government and $80 million made available by the Federal Government. More than 80 contracts have been under taken at the complex since its inception in July 2003. The facility is operated by joint venture partner JBFM Babcock but is government-owned and available to all private sector companies with the design allowing for multiple, overlapping projects. A spokesman from Austal, which has teamed with defence contractor Raytheon Australia to bid for the Federal Government tender to build two amphibious ships, said the State Government was addressing a known issue, as the Common User Facility (CUF) didn’t presently have a method of launching ships.
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