A steel fabrication facility used in the mining boom is getting a new breath of life with Austal making it the construction hub for Pacific Patrol Boats.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, today opened the new shipbuilding facility in the suburb of Naval Base in Western Australia, which will be used to construct 19 new Pacific Patrol Boats.

“The opening of this new production facility demonstrates Austal’s commitment to the Pacific Patrol Boat replacement project,” Minister Pyne said.

“Importantly, Austal has advised the $306 million project will create up to 207 jobs.”

“It’s a visual reminder of how WA defence industry is growing and continues to play a vital role in the future of the Australian Defence Force.”

The new facility will be located a short distance from Austal’s current production facility in Henderson.

Minister Pyne said following construction at the new facility, the vessels will be transported, launched and moved alongside Austal’s current facility.

“Once constructed and tested the vessels will be handed to the Australian Government and subsequently given to 12 Pacific Island countries as part of Australia’s new Pacific Maritime Security program,” Minister Pyne said.

“This is part of the Turnbull Government’s commitment to guarantee our national security and ensure that Australia plays its part in supporting peace and stability in our region.”

Construction of the first replacement Pacific Patrol Boat is scheduled to commence in late April 2017 at the new facility, with delivery of the first vessel currently scheduled for the final quarter in 2018

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