Two South Australian companies have been selected to construct steel cruise ship blocks for an Italian shipbuilding giant.
Adelaide based MG Engineering will construct two of the blocks, with a third to be built by Whyalla-based Ottoway Engineering.
The SA groups were selected by Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri, one of three international companies currently vying for the Australian Navy frigates contract.
Sean Costello, Fincantieri's Australian director, says the block-building work was a "test order" so the company can check out the local industry in SA.
"We get to find out who are the good suppliers out there that can help us and we get to find out what it truly costs to do the work in Australia," says Costello.
The three blocks will be just under the size of a tennis court, and will use 52 tonnes of Australian steel.
The project is set to be complete by June 30, coincidentally when the national security committee is expected to decide who will get the $35 billion frigate contract.
David Pisoni, the South Australian Minister for Industry, says Fincantieri's selection of two SA companies shows confidence in the local sector.
"Fincantieri is demonstrating their confidence in South Australian shipbuilders to carry out this work as part of their global supply chain," says Pisoni.
Business News Australia
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