Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions directors Robert Nioa and (R) nephew Jackson Nioa at the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce community update with (L) Richard Kingston (M'b Chamber of Commerce president), Cr Darren Everard (acting mayor) and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien.
Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions directors Robert Nioa and (R) nephew Jackson Nioa at the Maryborough Chamber of Commerce community update with (L) Richard Kingston (M'b Chamber of Commerce president), Cr Darren Everard (acting mayor) and Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien. Alistair Brightman

FORGING FACTORY FUTURE: 'Biggest project since Walker trains'

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

IT'S the biggest manufacturing project in Maryborough since Walkers started building trains 40 years ago.

Now, the Chronicle can reveal the planning process which will make the Heritage City's $60 million munitions factory a reality.

Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, a joint venture between arms dealer NIOA and German war machine builder Rheinmetall have revealed their plans for a local supply chain and a timeline of the hiring process for workers.

Speaking to a packed information session on Thursday, RNM director Rob Nioa said the construction of the factory's base would start in January next year and continue until March 2021.

Expressions of interest are being sought for construction stage contracts.

Initial production of the artillery shells is expected to start in July, 2021 with the factory moving to full-rate production in January, 2022.

All three levels of government have aligned, cutting out red tape and offering support and funding to help bring the historic project to fruition.

Yesterday the project's strategic director told the Chronicle it would be "the biggest manufacturing development in 40 years" - since the building of electric trains began at Walkers.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Thursday, Mr Nioa said tenders for professional services in the design element of the building were being sought and a tender for construction would be offered later this year.

"We want to see benefit for the local community as part of this project and we naturally want to be sourcing as much product and support as we can from the local community," Mr Nioa said.

"We'd like to try and make sure we have alignment between the companies which are going to first be needed to bring the project alive, which will be in the design and construction phase (and) some longer term awareness of skills-training people so they can start to plan ahead for workforce requirements."

Mr Nioa said all approvals for the project had been finalised and the company was ready to move into the construction phase.

He said a builder would be appointed by the end of the year to "get the project out of the ground".

"We've already gone out to the community and sought tenders for people to assist in the design element, then we will be moving to the tendering for the construction phase," Mr Nioa said.

The much-anticipated project has progressed quickly since it was first announced in October last year.

German Defence Forces was recently revealed as the first contractor to receive the artillery shells produced at the plant under a five-year contract.

A section of the Moonaboola Industrial Estate, off the Bruce Hwy, has already been zoned for the development.

A number of disciplines, which include engineering, landscape architecture, machinery operations and security services will be sought over the next few years.