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Babcock and Franmarine win $10m RAN biofouling contract

Adelaide-based Babcock Australasia and Perth-based Franmarine will deliver critical underwater sustainment and biofouling management services for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under a new $10m contract.

Since 2018, the two companies have delivered biofouling management capability to the RAN to support the reduction of invasive marine species. The new contract builds on the previous agreement and now includes supporting all major surface ships on both the East and West coasts. In addition to supporting the Asset Class Prime Contractor (ACPC) and Regional Maintenance Provider West (RMP West) programs, the new ships supported include the Hobart-class Destroyers, Bay-class Landing Ship Dock (LSD) and Supply-class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishments (AORs).

The partnership has enabled development of MarineStream™ technology by Franmarine – an innovative, integrated block-chain enabled biofouling management system. The cleaning system removes and captures harmful biofouling to prevent non-indigenous Invasive Marine Species (IMS) being transferred via vessels, enabling ships to comply with all national and international biofouling regulations and standards.

MarineStream was shortlisted for the Indo Pacific 2023 Innovation Awards. Franmarine, supported by Babcock, was recently awarded a grant by the West Australian Government to facilitate the establishment of a global operations centre at Henderson that will employ an additional 66 employees in WA and create 74 new jobs over the life cycle of the project.

“Franmarine are proud to have reached yet another significant milestone together with Babcock, with the MarineStream™ technology solution now used to manage biofouling across the major surface force,” said Franmarine CEO Adam Falconer-West.

“The program aims to protect marine biodiversity, reduce fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions, whilst other benefits include improved vessel performance and reduced corrosion rates.”

“Considering that biofouling is a global issue and that the benefits of effectively managing it can be quantified using novel technology, we are excited by the further growth that the partnership with Babcock has the potential to realise.”

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