NEWS - The good oil on Steber

NEWS - The good oil on Steber

Taree boatbuilder Steber International has finalised a multi-million-dollar contract following the company’s participation in the Dubai International Boat Show earlier this year.

The NSW Minister for State Development, Ian Macdonald, said Steber International had won a contract to build, fit out and deliver a 52-foot medical support vessel for a high-profile Qatari businessman.

“The contract is worth more than $2 million and it’s great news for Steber, an award-winning family-owned business that employs around 35 staff,” Macdonald said.

The NSW Government said it assisted Steber and 12 other NSW companies from the marine industry to exhibit at the boat show last March.

The NSW Department of State and Regional Development manages a program of trade missions, participation in international exhibitions and independent market visits to help NSW companies win business in overseas markets.

“We also have a network of export advisers across NSW,” added Macdonald.

Congratulating Steber on its contract, NSW Ports and Waterways Minister, Joe Tripodi, noted the company’s record of building vessels of excellence for decades.

“Steber builds to NSW Maritime commercial boatbuilding standards and this contract is a testament to the quality of vessels being produced to those standards in a regional centre like Taree,” Tripodi said.

Steber International general manager, Alan Steber, said it was the first time his company had participated in the Dubai International Boat Show and it had turned out to be a very worthwhile exercise.

“Working with another exhibitor, Jeremy Spear — a naval architect from Sydney company Spear Green Design — we were able to produce customised design plans and present them to the businessman in a couple of days, which really impressed him,” Steber said.

“As well as the medical support vessel, I’m optimistic that we’ll sign another big contract for a 28ft leisure vessel as a result of the show,” he said.

The boatbuilder said his company would begin work immediately on the support vessel, with completion in about nine months.

“As with all our craft, we’ll maximise Australian content, including aluminium, timber, stainless steel fittings, paints and, in this case, the recompression chamber will be supplied by Cowan Manufacturing in Newcastle,” said Steber.

“With this and other work coming in, I anticipate that we will put on more staff over the next six months, building up to about 50 people.

“I also hope to increase our number of shipwright apprentices from seven to 10,” he said.

Steber has exported boats to Mauritius, the Seychelles, Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Singapore and Noumea.

Steber said the support he’d received from the NSW Department of State and Regional Development had been invaluable.

“Export Adviser Gabrielle Oriel’s practical advice, the briefings and seminars we’ve attended, and support for participation in exhibitions have all helped,” said Steber.

“It’s useful to have someone outside the business who can act as a sounding board,” he said.

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