11/12/2020 - 14:07

State eyes new $500 million dry dock

11/12/2020 - 14:07


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State eyes new $500 million dry dock

The state government is looking for industry support to help fund and design a $500 million-plus large vessel dry berth at Henderson that would create hundreds of jobs over the next decade.

DevelopmentWA and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will next week present the case to industry, with the support of the Royal Australian Navy, as the first step in the process.

More than 80 companies have registered to attend the briefing, while US businesses are also understood to have expressed an interest.

If a large vessel dry berth was built at the Australian Maritime Complex, it would become just the second in Australia. The other is the Captain Cook Graving Dock, in Sydney.

Vessels of up to 115m in length can currently be constructed and maintained at the AMC, but a large vessel dry berth would allow for vessels of more than 230m to be built and serviced.

In its invitation to attend Tuesday’s briefing, the state government described it as an “early market engagement exercise”, with a focus on funding, design, construction, operation and use.

“A large vessel dry berth at the AMC would primarily support the large-hulled vessel build and sustainment needs of the Department of Defence and Royal Australian Navy, and also enable the attraction of new commercial opportunities,” the invitation said.

“… Prior to the industry briefing session an Engagement Document will be released outlining the Western Australian Government’s high-level requirements and inviting industry to respond.”

The state government has asked interested parties to respond by February 25.

There are only about 300 large vessel dry berths around the world and Australia’s only large vessel dry berth is a graving dock, which restricts its use.

It’s understood the state government will consider alternative types of large vessel dry berths, including those that use a modular design or floating options, which would allow more than one vessel to be docked at a time.

The necessity for a new large vessel dry berth was identified in the recently released AMC Strategic Infrastructure Land Use Plan, but it was expected to be built in the 2030s.

The state government now wants to investigate whether it could be feasible to make the pay-for-use AMC home to a large vessel dry berth in the mid-late 2020s.

It would allow the Royal Australian Navy to dry dock some of its biggest ships at Henderson, and provide opportunities for local shipbuilders to complete bigger builds locally.

The plan is not related to the submarine full-cycle docking issue, on which the state government is still pushing for a resolution.





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