Austal invests USD30m in shipbuilding expansionVolker Karow
Austal Limited has finalized the details of its previously announced USD30 million capacity expansion. This investment, following a significant increase in order intakes, will be focused on the company’s commercial shipbuilding facilities in Western Australia and Asia. Austal’s current commercial vessel order book is well filled until early 2021 and includes five large vessels (over 80 metres in length), which are collectively worth more than USD400 million.
Austal has selected its existing Philippines and Henderson shipyards for the capacity expansion. Works have commenced and will be funded from Austal’s ongoing cash reserves. Completion of the works are expected during 2018 at Henderson and in early 2019 in the Philippines.
Austal CEO David Singleton said the investment was primarily focused on the large ferry market where the company holds a competitive advantage through its advanced design, high-speed vessels and modular construction approach. “The capital investment in the commercial operation will increase Austal’s ability to secure and deliver large high-speed aluminium vessel contracts in highly cost effective shipyards,” he said, adding: “The demand outlook in the market for large high speed aluminium vessels underpins Austal’s decision to focus its investment in this sector.”
In addition to the investment outlined above, Austal has recently commenced a small commercial shipyard operation in Vietnam. The new location is located in the highly industrialized shipbuilding and marine support precinct to the south of Ho Chi Minh City. The location was selected to provide additional high quality aluminium construction support to Austal’s commercial operations both for modules for larger ships (supporting Austal Philippines) and to build smaller high speed aluminium vessels.