Early engagement supports local industry

Australia is one step closer to building a long-term, sustainable naval shipbuilding and ship sustainment capability with initial site works on the Osborne North development project due to begin in the next few months.

After a lengthy tender process, project owner Australian Naval Infrastructure has engaged Laing O’Rourke as managing contractor to deliver a state-of-the-art construction yard where Naval Group will build the fleet of 12 Future Submarines.

ICN SA worked with Laing O’Rourke in the tender phase and is now involved in calling for registrations of interest through ICN Gateway.

The proposed scope of works over the coming years includes:

  • new building works
  • civil and marine infrastructure
  • building refurbishment.

Laing O’Rourke Project Director Spiros Tsakonas, who has worked with ICN previously both in South Australia and in other Australian States, said that Laing O’Rourke wanted to promote local engagement and participation through the ICN portal, right from the start. “This would ensure that that all interested parties could register on a centralised portal if they want to participate on any work packages over the next several years.”

During the tender process, Laing O’Rourke enjoyed “very positive participation with South Australian companies both in services subcontracts and supply that have shown a great interest in this project and are wanting to engage.”

“We are very supportive of early engagement with ICN South Australia to facilitate engagement and participation for all major projects in our state,” Spiros said.

“Doing that engagement through ICN not only do you have a centralised portal and avenue for communication, but you are also supporting the local industry to understand and if needed upskill in order to participate,” Spiros said, adding that smaller companies can access opportunities through the supply chain.

For example, there are times when companies who don’t win a tender can end up winning work for the successful company.

“With every conversation you have there is something you learn about another company that has engaged with ICN on some other project. Every interaction helps us, and ICN, better understand the supply chain, better understand capacity and how to support our partners on this project,” Spiros said.

ICN consultant, Jeremy Satchel said this project was a great example of the value of getting involved at the tender stage for such large projects.

“Local suppliers have had the opportunity to engage in the project early, while Laing O’Rourke has been able to tap into local capabilities to plan and deliver these large infrastructure projects.

“We strongly encourage local suppliers to use ICN as part of a wider business development strategy to leverage the industry and project knowledge of consultants.

“With the right engagement strategy, we can also work with major project proponents to prepare the industry.”

ICN’s relationship with Laing O’Rourke and the Osborne North project goes beyond the Gateway portal into supplier engagement and education.

“We ran a successful health, safety and environment forum for the supply chain with ICN facilitating. We wanted to inform and spread the message around our expectations as to HSE,’ Spiros said.

The forum attracted about 140-150 attendees, including managing directors, directors and safety professionals.

There will be further supply chain safety forums as the project progresses. They will be targeted at the trades and suppliers that are soon to be procured and mobilised.  

Go to the Osborne North Development Gateway page for more information on upcoming forums or to register your interest.

“The Osborne North development is an exciting and once in a lifetime project, Laing O’Rourke is incredibly proud to be part of the team working with our client Australian Naval infrastructure in supporting the future capability of our nation,” Spiros said.