Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions director Robert Nioa at the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce community update.
Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions director Robert Nioa at the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce community update. Alistair Brightman

EXPLAINED: What the factory will be making

HAILED as the project that will bring Maryborough's manufacturing prowess back into the limelight, the $60 million munitions factory will produce thousands of artillery shells to be supplied to armed forces.

The plant, which will be built out at the Moonaboola Industrial Estate off the Bruce Hwy, will begin by manufacturing about 30,000 artillery projectile shell casings per year.

Each case is an inert metal body measuring roughly 155mm in diameter, 690mm in height and weighing about 36kg.

No explosives will be produced or stored on site.

The shell's production process involves four stages using a Schuler press forge, which includes the initial forging of the casings, rough and initial machining and the final step of preparing the shells for shipment.

Shells constructed at the factory will then be supplied to selected defence contractors to be fully completed with explosives, before being further supplied to army personnel.

NIOA corporate development manager Jackson Nioa explained there would be the potential for specialist work on the initial set-up of the equipment on Thursday, saying there would likely be different variations in the work at the top point of the shell for specialist engineers. An on-site tool shop will also need to be fitted out.

Last month, German Defence Forces was revealed to be the first contractor to use shells forged at the Maryborough site.

The agreement, worth about $173 million AUD (109 million Euro), details the supply of about 32,000 shells over a five-year contract to the German Bundeswehr.
 



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