The Australian government’s strategy for a permanent naval shipbuilding industry in Australia consists of continuously building long-term surface warships and smaller naval vessels.
More than AUD 500m (EUR 330m) are being invested in modern shipyard infrastructure at Osborne and another AUD 500m in other locations.
Infrastructure development at the Osborne Naval Shipyard will modernise ship construction systems and processes in Australia to improve shipyard productivity and reduce the cost of Australian build programmes.
In March 2017, the Government established Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI) Pty Ltd, which will facilitate the development and construction of new infrastructure at the Osborne shipbuilding facility as outlined in the Naval Shipbuilding Plan released on 16 May 2017. Lendlease is appointed as the managing contractor for the upgrade of the Osborne South Shipyard in Adelaide.
In 2016, the Australian Department of Defence approached OMT, and together, they developed an ambitious and feasible plan for the design and building of the new shipyard. During 2017, OMT developed detailed concepts, technical specifications and designs for the building of the Osborne shipyard.
The starting point was the Australian continuous shipbuilding plan and the vessels potentially to be built in Osborne – OPVs, Frigates and Destroyers. OMT developed – based on best practices from the commercial shipbuilding industry – a world-class shipbuilding concept aligned with the ambitious requirements from the Australian Department of Defences and its key stakeholders. The work included evaluating existing infrastructure and building methods, future vessel types and their unique characteristics and modern building concepts.
Based on the shipbuilding concept, the production processes were defined and specified, including all required capabilities and capacities. Again, OMT applied best practices from the commercial shipbuilding industry and re-defined it in a naval space with the unique requirements from the client.
Shipbuilding equipment (like cranes, panel lines, paint and blast facilities and robots) is, together with the skilled people, the heart of building a shipyard. All equipment was specified and material prepared for later tendering and procurement. More than 180 pieces of equipment were specified.
The most important asset in a shipyard is the people operating it. OMT developed and defined an overview of the required skills, number of people and organisational structures needed to operate the future shipyard. The shipyard will include around 1,000 people, excluding the military system integrators and owner organisation, and all functional areas were described in terms of roles and responsibilities, key business processes and competences.
Holding together all the business processes and equipment is the information technology. Based on different operational models, OMT developed concepts for how to integrate and utilise IT at the shipyard. This work covered ERP systems, 3D modelling software, planning and QA/QC systems, equipment integration systems and protocols, communication systems (phone, security and CCTV, internet, etc.), hardware (servers and fibre optics) and Building Information Systems (BIM).
Finally, buildings needed to be designed or re-designed to fit the purpose, considering shipbuilding concepts, production processes, equipment, people, logistics and IT. The work included detailed design and specification of ground works, 1,500 parking places, a bridge, three new large shipbuilding halls, wharf extension, dredging, refurbishment of existing workshops and facilities, new cantinas and guardhouses, new paint hall, etc.
OMT delivered a complete and detailed designed shipyard, covering all aspects. The current phase is to deliver the design and ensuring that it continues to be fit for purpose. OMT is currently closely involved in the building of the shipyard together with the managing contractor Lendlease, ensuring that fitness for purpose is intact.
OMT is furthermore assisting in the procurement of the equipment, providing technical advice during the tender processes. As equipment is being ordered, build and arriving at the shipyard, OMT assists the managing contractor in the testing and commissioning of the individual equipment and the shipyard as a whole.
The shipyard will be in operation in 2020, ready for building the first of nine frigates in total. But already in 2019, some of the facilities will be used to build the first two OPVs. The remaining ten OPVs are planned to be built at Henderson, Perth.
OMT is proud of being part of the ambitious journey towards continuous shipbuilding in Australia and of providing knowledge and knowhow to the Australian shipbuilding industry