EXCLUSIVE: Contract signed for M'boro munitions supply
FOR Wermer Kramer, the combination of Anzac Day and the anticipation of Maryborough's munitions factory made for perfect timing to announce a landmark contract on the project.
The Chronicle can exclusively reveal German Defence Forces will be the first to use artillery shells forged at the Heritage City plant.
About 32,000 rounds will be supplied to the German Bundeswehr as part of the agreement, which is worth about $173million AUD (109 million Euro).
It follows Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions calling for expressions of interest to help build their new factory in Maryborough's Industrial Estate off the Bruce Hwy.
The framework of the contract, which will last for five years, allows an option for a further 11,000 worth around $58million AUD (37 million Euro) if demand is high enough.
Mr Kramer, who is the CEO of Rheinmetall Munitions, said Australia was an ideal place to export the munitions for the German forces.
"Australia is, for us, one of the three major export markets we've looked at," Mr Kramer said.
"It's not only because of the market itself with the Land 17 program we won years ago, but it is a platform for us to go to the far east as well and use Australia as an export base.
"We get huge support from the government side, not only in supporting the investment, but also going for the export business."
The $60million factory, announced by Rheinmetall and NIOA in October last year, will provide the casings for artillery shells.
Explosives will not be produced at the factory.
The project has been tipped to bring hundreds of jobs for the construction of the factory and re-instate the Heritage City as a manufacturing powerhouse.
Mr Kramer said Maryborough was an ideal location to build the factory due to its infrastructure being suited for transport and the potential to attract young workers to the region.
"The connection to the street for logistics is done very well, the space we can get here is perfect to establish such a location," he said.
"It gives us the opportunity to get young people interested to come here."