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This Week’s Highlight: Transport for NSW seeks ferry builders

Transport for NSW has opened tenders for the construction of a new fleet of ultramodern Australian-designed ferries to service the Parramatta-Sydney CBD link.

The NSW Government is investing in the vessels to make the iconic Parramatta River-harbour route faster and more attractive to commuters and tourists. It is committed to boosting local manufacturing and encouraging local content as part of the state’s record $76.7 billion investment in transport infrastructure over the next four years.

Experienced local firm Incat Crowther has designed the seven new 24-metre Parramatta River ferries. TfNSW invites submission of proposals for their construction and says the modern design will maintain a 200-person capacity, but the vessels are more fuel efficient than older models with improved seating and access for passengers.

The design also future proofs the ferries for conversion to electric propulsion when the network infrastructure is ready. The seven new ferries will predominantly run the F3 Parramatta River route, replacing seven RiverCat vessels after 30 years of service.

To encourage proposals from shipbuilders of all sizes, including smaller Australian and New Zealand-based operations, TfNSW does not require proponents to submit proposals to build all seven vessels. Successful proponents will work under 24-month discrete agreements.

The ferries RFT follows the requirements of the NSW Government SME and Regional Procurement Policy. All successful proponents must submit an SME and local participation plan that references SME and NSW-specific content and is consistent with International Procurement Agreement (IPA) obligations. A significant proportion of tender evaluation criteria weightings target local content, SME, and regional participation and sustainability.

Note that tenders for this submission are lodged via Ariba Supplier Portal not NSW e-tenders, detailed tender information is uploaded via this site also, so you will need to register for the full RFT.

A Industry Briefing is being held on Tuesday 6 December 2022 and the tender closes Monday 16 January 2023.

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