January 7, 2003

Patrol boat order for Austal unit
Australia's Austal Limited sys that its Austal Ships unit has secured an order for three Coast Guard patrol boats from the Government of Kuwait, Ministry of Interior.

With a combined contract value of approximately A$8 million (about U.S. $4.6 million), the trio of 22 m aluminum monohulls will be built by Austal's Image Marine unit. They are due for delivery by early 2004.

Austal managing director Bob McKinnon said the contract was won against stiff international competition as part of a global tender process, and demonstrated the company's ability to penetrate new markets.

"Securing this contract with the Kuwait Coast Guard, together with our short-listing for the Royal Australian Navy patrol boat project, shows that there is considerable potential for Austal in this market," he said.

Austal, together with its partner Defence Maritime Services, submitted its final proposal for the Royal Australian Navy's patrol boat project in November 2002. Austal and DMS are one of three bidders remaining in the tender process, and it is expected that the contract will be awarded in mid 2003.

Austal's patrol boat experience also includes the design and construction of eight 38 m Bay Class vessels delivered to the Australian Customs Service in 1999 under budget and ahead of schedule.

Image Marine delivered seven 16 m and two 22 m patrol boats to the New South Wales police in 2000, and Austal says the success of these vessels was an important part of the bid for the Kuwait contract.

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