Construction of the $60 million Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions (RNM) shell forging and manufacturing facility in Maryborough has begun, with early works commencing on site.

Work on the Maryborough Forging & Manufacturing Facility is proceeding despite COVID-19, and is part of a broader program of initiatives to increase Queensland’s defence manufacturing capabilities.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the new factory would make a major contribution to the local economy and the Maryborough community.

‘This facility is expected to create around 100 long-term advanced manufacturing jobs once the projectile-forging plant commences full production in 2022, up to 90 jobs on site when the 14-month construction phase hits its peak, and additional jobs through the local supply chain,’ Mr Dick said.

RNM’s state-of the-art manufacturing facility will produce 30,000 155-millimetre artillery shell cases annually for both the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and German-based Rheinmetall’s international supply chain of allied nations.

NIOA CEO and RNM Director Robert Nioa said the ADF currently imports artillery shell cases from overseas for use by the Australian Army in training and military combat.

‘Production from the Maryborough facility will be available to replace imported munitions and will supplement Rheinmetall’s existing munitions manufacturing base to meet demand from customers overseas,’ Mr Nioa said.

Australian company BADGE Constructions will build the facility on a 4ha site at the Moonaboola Industrial Estate, with approximately 70% of the project’s trade packages to be awarded to local subcontractors and suppliers.

The facility’s office will be constructed using locally grown timbers sourced from another Maryborough business, Hyne Timber.

The Queensland Government is supporting the RNM facility with $7.5 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund and has contributed an additional $9 million to upgrade the local energy supply and assist with the facility’s complex electricity connections. The Australian Government is supporting the facility through its Regional Growth Fund.

RNM is a joint venture between Rheinmetall Waffe Munitions and NIOA. The joint venture brings together the best of global and local expertise and capability in the munitions sector.

In South East Queensland, Rheinmetall Defence Australia is constructing a $170 million Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank to deliver a major tank contract for the ADF.

The defence and aerospace sector is identified as one of Queensland’s growing export priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re a Queensland company looking to access Rheinmetall’s global supply chain, contact TIQ or Defence Jobs Queensland.