Local South Australian Mid Murray business Bowhill Engineering has won the tender to replace the two remaining timber-hulled ferries operating on the River Murray.
The State Government is investing $12.8 million renewing the River Murray ferry fleet by replacing four ageing timber-hulled ferries with steel-hulled ferries.
Bowhill Engineering has already completed construction on the first two steel hulls, with one ferry already in operation at Lyrup near Berri.
The second hull is being fitted out at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Morgan dockyard and is expected to be launched next month.
Work on the third ferry hull will now begin in July, with the final two ferries to be in operation by 2018.
There are 12 River Murray ferry crossings at 11 locations in South Australia and currently load restrictions are in place for the remaining timber-hulled ferries at Cadell, Mannum (upstream) and Tailem Bend.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure rotates the ferries between locations based on the operational demands of all ferry crossings to maximise benefits to the community and local business.
Five businesses submitted tenders which were subject to a rigorous evaluation process.
Bowhill Engineering is an award-winning family-owned business which specialises in heavy and complex structural steel manufacturing, and is located at Bowhill, approximately 50 kilometres from Murray Bridge.
The project will provide job stability for their skilled workforce of about 25 people, of which up to 10 are expected to work on this contract and it is expected to support growth for up to three additional staff.
Source: SA Government
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