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PM Marape wants Australian Ship-Building Company Austal to setup in PNG

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, MP, has suggested that Australian ship-building company - Austal, should set up a facility in Papua New Guinea, similar to United States of America and Philippines.

He made this suggestion, while visiting the Austal Headquarters and ship-building facility in Perth, Western Australia, yesterday (23/07/19).

Austal Ship Building is the company, which built the first out of four military patrol boats - HMS Ted Diro, donated to PNG by the Australian Government, under the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, in December 2018.

PM Marape thanked Austal for its commitment in building these Guardian Class patrol boats to maintain maritime border security, eradicate illegal fishing and combat trans-national crimes in PNG.

He said similar arrangements should be established between PNG and Austal, like the US and the Australian Navy and Border Force.

“I suggest that Austal come to PNG and establish a facility to, not only cater for PNG’s needs, but to provide for other smaller Pacific Island nations in the region as well,” PM Marape said.

Austal is expected to commence construction on the second and third patrol boats, later this year, and will supply them to the PNG Defense Force in 2021, while the fourth one will be ready in 2022.

In response to PM Marape’s offer that Austal sets up in PNG, the Austal Vice President, Andrew Malcolm, showed interest and said the company would consider the offer.

The second Patrol Boat once completed and delivered to PNGDF will be commissioned as HMAS Lokinap.

HMAS Ted Diro has already been commissioned and is now in usage by the PNG Navy.

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