09/11/2017 - 10:50

Austal denies closure threat

09/11/2017 - 10:50

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Perth-based shipbuilder Austal has denied it sent an update to shareholders signalling the potential closure of its Henderson shipyard, with chief executive David Singleton telling Business News the company was strongly positioned to remain in Western Australia.

Austal denies closure threat

Perth-based shipbuilder Austal has denied it sent an update to shareholders signalling the potential closure of its Henderson shipyard, with chief executive David Singleton telling Business News the company was strongly positioned to remain in Western Australia.

Austal is currently vying for a multi-billion dollar contract to build 10 of the Australian Navy’s planned 12 offshore patrol vessels.

The company has partnered with German designer Fassmer for that bid, competing against a Civmec/ASC joint venture working with Dutch firm Damen and another German player, Lurssen.

A media report this morning claimed an update to shareholders said Austal’s Henderson operation would be in jeopardy if the contract was not won.  

Mr Singleton said the details used in the media story came from the company’s annual report released in August and were part of a standard risk analysis.

“That is no indication; it’s just the risk analysis that is required to inform shareholders,” he said

“We’ve got work out until 2023 in Henderson – if we never won another job we’d still be producing in 2023.

“We’ve got our strongest order book with a strong pipeline of work ahead of us.”

The company also released a statement to clarify the details.

Austal wishes to clarify a media report in The West Australian newspaper today which refers to ‘an update to shareholders’ about the future of the company’s shipbuilding operations in Australia,” it stated.

Austal has not provided a separate update to shareholders about the company’s operations.”

The company also included Mr Singleton’s speaking notes from his presentation at Austal’s Annual General Meeting last month in the clarification.

“This (OPV) program is the single most important project Henderson has ever bid or is likely to bid as it creates a backbone of work for the next 15‐ 20 years,” he said

“It ensures Henderson survives.

“Other Defence, commercial and sustainment work will see Henderson develop further.”

 

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