Design partners selected for nuclear submarine shipyard


The federal government has announced Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) and an AECOM and Aurecon Joint Venture as the concept design partners for South Australia’s new nuclear-powered submarine construction yard (NPSCY).

KBR has extensive experience in supporting design and project management for defence infrastructure facilities and will design the area of the NPSCY that will be used for steel processing and fabrication facilities.

The AECOM and Aurecon Joint Venture will deliver the concept design for the rest of the NPSCY site which will support outfitting, consolidation and commissioning of Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The new yard will be built next to the Osborne Naval Shipyard which houses both submarine company ASC which maintains the Collins class submarines and BAE Systems Australia, which is constructing Hunter class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy – BAE and ASC have been named as constructors of the planned SSN-AUKUS vessels.

Work was started on a new submarine yard at Osborne (pictured) by the former coalition government however the project was abandoned when the government ended its contract with France’s Naval Group. Additional land has since been set aside for a much larger yard envisaged for nuclear powered submarine construction.

The NPSCY development will be in excess of 75 hectares and will be built to the highest security and safety standards.

The Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “This is yet another major milestone reflecting the Albanese Government’s commitment to construct conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia.

“Not only will this ambitious project create thousands of local jobs, it will deliver the most critical defence capability acquisition in our nation’s history.

“At its peak, up to 4,000 workers will be employed to design and build the infrastructure for the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard in Osborne while a further 4,000-5,500 direct jobs are expected to build the nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia.”

The design teams collectively bring together nuclear infrastructure specialists and experienced personnel from previous shipyard infrastructure projects at Osborne, Henderson and in AUKUS partner nations, according to a statement.

Preliminary enabling works required to support the future construction of the NPSCY at Osborne commenced in December 2023 with site mobilisations and early works for a new carpark.

In partnership with the South Australian Government, the Albanese Government is also designing and building the new Skills and Training Academy at Osborne to educate and train the elite naval shipbuilding workforce.

Further reading:
Companies welcome certainty over SSN-AUKUS sub construction

Picture: Partially constructed submarine construction yard at Osborne Naval Shipyard

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