The first Spanish warship to enter Western Australian waters in more than 140 years has arrived in Fremantle.
The F100 multi-purpose frigate, the Alvaro de Bazan, is on a three-day visit to WA, before heading to ports in the Eastern States.
Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan said the state-of-the-art warship was built by renowned Spanish shipbuilders Navantia and was one of two design options for Australia’s new $6billion air warfare destroyer project.
Mr Logan said Navantia had also combined with Australian company Tenix to bid for a $2billion contract to build two amphibious naval vessels.
The Minister said the State Government was looking to gain a substantial share of the module fabrication of both projects for the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) at Henderson.
“We believe WA has the skills, capacity and the will to play a key role in these projects - we believe we are the logical choice,” he said.
“The AMC is the ideal choice for large-scale module fabrication, ship consolidation and the repair and maintenance of naval vessels.
“The State Government is investing heavily in the AMC to make it the best-equipped shipbuilding common-use facility in the world.
“The opportunity to be part of these naval projects is a very exciting opportunity for the WA public and our shipbuilding industry.”
Over the coming days, Navantia will showcase the frigate’s design and capability. The visit will also provide local industry with the chance to inspect the vessel and see how it was built.
Mr Logan met with senior Navantia representatives in Perth last week to discuss WA’s capabilities and to strengthen links with the company. This follows his visit to Spain in November last year.
“My trip to Spain gave me the chance to brief the Navantia team on the advantages of building modules for their ships at the AMC,” he said.
“The AMC is already providing large economic returns for the WA economy. Since 2003, 25 projects have been completed at its common user facility.
“This figure is set to increase with the Premier’s announcement last December of a $174million upgrade to the AMC, including the construction of a floating dock, a new transfer system and an extension of the existing eastern wharf.”
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