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Navantia is to distribute the construction of their ships for Australia between shipbuilding sites i

The company needs two large capacity building berths for the construction of the vessels and Bazán has only one. The construction of Navantia’s two amphibious ships for the Australian Navy will be carried out between the shipyards in Ferrol and Fene. The contract was signed yesterday in Melbourne. The order, which will yield 9.3 million hours of work to Galician factories, is valued at 1,411.6 million euros, over half of which -915 million euros- will be invested by Navantia, while the remainder -496.6 million euros- will be financed by the Spanish company’s partner in this venture, the Australian shipyard, Tenix.
Navantia has not yet disclosed which part of the construction will be carried at the facilities of the former Astano shipyard, –which have been clearly underutilized since the last restructuring- and maintains that they will base the distribution on the availability of space that each shipyard is able to offer when construction is set to begin.
However, owing to the limitations of the factory in Ferrol, Navantia will inevitably have to make use of the facilities in Fene to be able to fulfil the contract with the Australian Navy. The Ferrol based shipyard has only one building berth with the capacity to construct the type of amphibious vessel contracted by Australia, whose length is roughly 230 metres and breadth (width), 32 m. Moreover, the company must have the two building berths available at the same time, even though the construction of the two ships is not scheduled to begin together. Construction of the first ship will begin a little under a year ahead of the second, which means that the building process of the two vessels will overlap.
The last employment adjustment carried out in the national shipyards left the former Astano will a staff of 360 workers. It is currently the company’s only factory dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of ship parts, which are later assembled in Ferrol. It does not, however, construct the complete ship. For this reason, the revitalisation of the shipyard is one of the foremost demands formulated by the region’s business and labour union representatives as well as politicians.
A record order
The order signed by the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, for the construction of two amphibious vessels comes in addition to another commission signed last week for the design of three destroyers to be carried out in full by Navantia. The two contracts amount to more than 1200 million euros, making this the largest export order landed by the Spanish company to date.
The contact for the three F-100 AWD will bring 800,000 working hours to the three factories on the Ría de Ferrol, which combined with the deal signed yesterday and in addition to the other work being carried out, will guarantee employment by Navantia in Galicia until 2015.
The president of the public enterprise, Juan Pedro Gómez Jaén, affirmed that the two orders are «the result of the continuing effort of Navantia’s entire staff, who make it possible for us to put products on the market that are superior in technological terms».
After signing the contract for the two polyvalent vessels, Australia’s Minister for Defense, Brendan Nelson, confirmed that «the hulls will be built in Spain and then transferred to Australia. The construction of the structure and interiors will occur mainly in Williamstown». He announced that the first ship will be Christened Canberra, and will be delivered to the country’s Navy in 2013, while the second vessel, Adelaide, is scheduled to be launched in 2015. «These 27,000 ton ships will strengthen Australia’s capacity to transport forces and provide assistance in the event of natural disasters», explained Howard, who also pointed out that the construction would create 500 jobs in his country.
In the contract negotiations for the amphibious ship tender, Navantia beat out the French shipbuilder Armaris, and they were awarded the F-100 frigate tender, over the American company Gibbs & Cox. (Source: La Voz de Galicia).

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