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This Week’s Highlight: Inflatable Rescue Boats.

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) needs Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs) suitable for use from its icebreaking research and supply vessel Nuyina. The commercial marine craft will facilitate refuelling and science operations at Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations.

An approach to market aims to establish a standing offer arrangement for the IRBs. The initial requirement is for the supply of 15 large IRBs. The second requirement is for the costing of medium IRBs.

The federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water’s request for tender (RFT) contains two required capabilities.

· Required Capability 1 – Provision of large inflatable rescue boats

· Required Capability 2 – Provision of medium inflatable rescue boats

To fulfil Required Capability 1, the supplier is to provide 15 large IRBs complete with recommended spare parts. The large IRBs must comply with the 2024 National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV), and meet the requirements for level floatation, as defined in the NSCV.

The large IRBs must have an overall length in the range of 4.50 metres to six metres with a foldable and/or collapsible floor made from wood, aluminium, fiberglass, or similar materials. An IRB lifting arrangement is a specific requirement.

The supplier must consider the extreme environment in which the craft will operate including withstanding temperatures of between of between -30C and -40C. The potential supplier’s response must demonstrate how the vessels will meet this specific performance requirement. This may include, but not be limited to, describing testing procedures before delivery.

The potential supplier’s response must include the following:

· confirmation that large IRBs are capable of complying with relevant parts of NSCV for a class 2 vessel operating in C restricted waters

· confirmation that large IRBs can meet NSCV requirements for level floatation once outfitted

· warranty details

· Australian-based repair and maintenance agent details

· fabric colour options

· detailed documentation for the large IRB lifting arrangement and required equipment

· country of manufacture.

The AAD has set a target date of 21 October 2024 for delivery of eight large IRBs, other associated equipment, spare parts, and documentation (paper and electronic) including Operator Manuals, Service Manuals and Parts Manuals, to its Watercraft Workshop at 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania.

The target delivery date for the remaining seven large IRBs, other associated equipment, spare parts, and documentation is 31 January 2025.

To fulfil Required Capability 2, tenderers must provide pricing for the provision of medium IRBs suitable for use from RSV Nuyina and the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations. The pricing structure should work on a proposed overall length range of between 4.30 metres and 4.90 metres. Potential suppliers should assume the AAD may procure up to eight medium IRBs in future.

The closing time and date for responses is 2pm ACT local time on Wednesday 3 April 2024.

If you are after further advice on this topic or any tender opportunity, feel free to contact us. You can also subscribe to this newsletter for regular weekly updates.

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