NZ engineering company breaks into marine sector through ICN

Allied Industrial Engineering (AIE) credits the Industry Capability Networks (ICN) ability to keep it supplied with up-to-the-minute information with helping them clinch work on the Ministry of Defences $500 million Project Protector.

The Kawerau business won contracts worth more than $1 million to make water-tight doors for the Navys new Off Shore Patrol Vessels as well as rudders and P’brackets for its Inshore Patrol Vessels - all new areas of business for AIE.

AIE contracts manager Jevon Priestley says the importance of ICNs reach into multinational organisations is not to be underestimated.

Contacts provided to AIE in its bid to win work from the projects prime contractor Tenix Defence made for more direct communication and were pivotal to the firm ultimately being successful.

"They gave us updated information about what was likely to happen as well as when and how, and details of who the most appropriate people for us to speak to are, he says.

"For example, theres a number of things that weve priced up to do, including some Project Protector work, and we have had the opportunity in advance of the actual tender submissions to start to do some research because we know what is coming up.

The construction of the rudders and brackets was the first time AIE had delved into the marine sector but business development manager Roger Phillips believes it will not be the last.

"We still want to be involved with this sort of work, it is good for the New Zealand industry. You have to have some runs on the board and weve been able to do that with the support of the ICN."

ICN Project Manager Richard Harrison says that in addition to helping companies get involved with Project Protector, the network hopes to encourage their expansion beyond that.

"Allied Industrial Engineering has been committed to this project from the beginning. Through their efforts they’ve won contacts in new areas and developed additional capabilities, which they’re already being recognised for within the marine industry,” he says.

"For the ICN its not only about helping NZ companies win the one-off work opportunities, it’s about trying to create a flow-on effect and stimulate economic development - thats what we do.

www.aie.co.nz

Background

Project Protector is a Ministry of Defence project to build a total of seven new vessels for sealift, offshore and coastal patrol for a range of Government agencies as well as for at-sea training for the Navy.

The Multi Role Vessel was built in the Netherlands and is now in Melbourne for final fitting out. The two Offshore Patrol vessels are being built in Williamstown, Melbourne with the first (OTAGO) launched on 18 November 2006.  The four Inshore Patrol Vessels are being built in Whangarei with the first to be launched in April this year.

Australia’s Tenix Defence was named the prime contractor in April 2004 and a contract with the Ministry of Defence was signed in July that year. After finalising design details, construction started early in 2005.

About $55 million has already been spent in New Zealand at this early stage of the project.