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Tech Western Australia

Local businesses encouraged to help build world’s largest telescope

2 min read

The Government is encouraging Australian businesses to help build the world’s largest radio telescope by opening expressions of interest for the Square Kilometre Array project’s first major construction contract. 

The first major construction contract will cover the construction and operation of a temporary accommodation facility for the workers. The Square Kilometre Array will be built in Western Australia’s Murchison region. 

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said Australian businesses can use this as an opportunity to use their skills and expertise to contribute to a globally significant project.

“Working on the Square Kilometre Array will not only bring financial rewards but will also open up business connections and provides the satisfaction of being involved in a project that will give us a better understanding of the origin and future of the universe,” Minister Porter said. 

“In the coming months, Australian businesses will have further opportunities to express interest for other major SKA infrastructure contracts, including buildings, access roads, an airstrip, ground preparation and power and fibre networks.”  

Australia is a co-host member of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO). The SKAO is a UK-based intergovernmental organisation that is responsible for the expenditures of the construction and operation of the SKA telescope project. 

The SKAO uses market surveys to identify potential suppliers for major contracts. These major contracts are usually around AU$310,000 and potential suppliers are sent a pre-qualification questionnaire. Companies that have been shortlisted are then invited to tender for the work package.  

Further SKAO market surveys for other purposes will open over the next few months. Another survey is expected to open early in June, relating to power and fibre networks, ground preparation, access roads and an emergency airstrip. 

The current survey for the construction of a temporary accommodation facility is open and will close on 14 June 2021. To be eligible for consideration by the SKAO, businesses must first complete the survey on the organisation’s Procurement Portal website.


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