The ASI has welcomed today’s announcement from the Australian Government awarding the country’s next new fleet of submarines to French company, DCNS as opening opportunities for the local steel industry to contribute meaningfully.

ASI Chief Executive, Tony Dixon said that on top of the estimated 2800 new jobs for the submarine builds planned for Adelaide, the $50 billion project has the potential to take advantage to a range of existing local industry capability within the sector built up over many years from local ship builds and heavy engineering projects.

“Australia’s two steelmakers have supplied world-class quality steels into many current and previous naval projects as well as pressure vessels for a range of industrial applications,” he said.

“It is also encouraging that the Government has indicated it is already liaising with Australian company, Bisalloy which manufactures a range of high-tensile steels for shipbuilding and other defence applications supplying local and international markets.”

Mr Dixon said it makes common sense to extend the value of investment in new defence capability to shore up the inherent industrial strength of an island nation as most developed nations do being integral to their own defence strategies.

“Maintaining a degree of heavy and advanced industrial capability with the ability to supply whenever there are disruption to international trade could prove to be just as important as securing our shores to the long-term defence of this nation,” he said.

“The Australian steel industry stands ready to collaborate closely with the Government to ensure the best possible outcome for this landmark project for the country’s future naval defence needs.

“This work will help ensure that our members’ recent investments in advanced plant and machinery as well as the sector’s strong skills base built up over many years are embraced.”