British Shipbuilder Signs Taranaki Deal
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British Shipbuilder Signs Taranaki Deal


British Shipbuilder Signs Taranaki Deal

British shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft (VT) says it has joined with New Zealand interests to bid for the New Zealand $500 million worth of defense contracts. The government plans to buy a multi-role vessel big enough to carry a company of soldiers and their equipment and a number of smaller patrol vessels for maritime surveillance. The tender is due to be awarded early next year. Vosper Thornycroft, a supplier of over 260 ships to more than 30 navies since the mid 1960s, says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the privately-owned Fitzroy Engineering Group based in Taranaki.

VT Shipbuilding commercial sales director Grant Firth told a media briefing that Vosper would offer a 115 metre multi-role vessel weighing about 4500 tonnes, and two or three 80 metre, 1700 tonne patrol boats. The group will also tender to replace or upgrade New Zealand's existing inshore patrol boats. Building the three patrol boats in New Zealand would allow the company to reduce labour expenses, which account for about 40% of a ship's total cost, according to the company. Firth says he knew of three other firms interested in bidding for the shipbuilding work. They were French, Australian and Singaporean firms. It is expected that 30 to 40 local firms will register an interest in the contracts.  

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