16 May 2022

Defence Minister opens history-making Maryborough defence manufacturing facility

Four years in the pipeline and two years after construction began, Maryborough’s biggest industrial plant in decades has been officially opened by the Minister for Defence, Hon Peter Dutton MP.

Mr Dutton joined Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions (RNM) directors and staff at the new $60m artillery shell forging factory.

The state-of-the-art factory includes a 1200-tonne forging press and computerised machinery that will produce the world’s most technically advanced 155mm projectiles for the Australian Defence Force as well as export markets.

When fully operational later this year, the plant will have the capacity to produce 30,000 shell cases per year with a workforce of up to 100 from line supervisors, skilled operators, maintenance staff, labourers and apprentices.

Australian company BADGE Constructions led the building phase for the project which has had multi-level government backing with a $28.5m injection from the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund on top of $7.5m from the Queensland Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Fund.

NIOA CEO and Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions Deputy Chairman Robert Nioa said the factory opening was a watershed moment for the region.

“This is more than a new factory – it is a new industry for the region,“ Mr Nioa said. ‘‘When we first conceived this almost four years ago with our long-term partners Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions, it highlighted our ambition to invest back into regional Queensland.

‘‘We wouldn’t be standing here today without the support from all levels of government. We thank them all for their investment because this is a true example of what can be achieved with that support and a spirit of collaboration.

‘‘Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions embraces the government’s priority to strengthen sovereign industrial capability because it delivers economic benefit to communities such as Maryborough, it develops new skills and it creates new export markets.“

Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions CEO and Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions Chairman Roman Koehne said the projectile plant put Maryborough firmly on the map as a centre of excellence for defence manufacturing.

“We are proud to partner with NIOA in welcoming a new chapter in Maryborough’s manufacturing history,’’ Mr Koehne said. “This plant is one of the most advanced, high-tech facilities of its kind in the world.

“It will harness Rheinmetall’s global expertise combined with a highly-qualified local workforce to create the jobs of the future, right here in regional Queensland.’’


Key facts:

  • Overall investment of $90 million, with $60 million on capital expenditure
  • Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions will employ up to 100 people
  • The plant has capacity in excess of 30,000 shell cases per year, working two shifts
  • Fifty per cent of the output has already been committed to overseas orders from allied nations.
  • The administration office and entry foyer to the 7000sqm facility were constructed using locally grown timber from Maryborough-based Hyne Timber.
  • More than 590 site inductions for workers were undertaken during the construction phase with just over 60 contracts placed for goods and services.
  • The Wide Bay region and Southeast Queensland were the big winners with 55 contracts accounting for 98 per cent of the project spend.

Rheinmetall AG

Oliver Hoffmann
Head of Press and Public Relations
Rheinmetall Platz 1
40476 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone: +49 211 473-4748
Fax: +49 211 473-4157

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