THE MUCH-loved HMAS Ovens submarine makeover is one step closer following the award of the contract to repair and repaint the vessel.

Eptec Marine has been awarded the contract to carry out safe and secure removal of the existing paint from HMAS Ovens, prepare the external steel and fibreglass surfaces, and repaint the vessel.

Due to the submarine’s location and age, the safe containment, capture, and removal of all existing coating products is of the highest priority for this project.

HMAS Ovens was initially launched in 1967. After decommissioning in 1995, the submarine was gifted to the Western Australian Museum, where it was then docked on the No.1 Slipway adjacent to WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle.

The former navy submarine is a popular exhibit at the WA Maritime Museum. However, the external hull and paintwork are in a poor state of repair, requiring urgent treatment to ensure the submarine’s longevity as a key part of WA’s naval history.

The repair work is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of this year to allow for optimal working conditions.

WA culture and the arts minister David Templeman said, “We understand the valuable role HMAS Ovens played in maintaining the security of our waters when it was in operation – and the role the vessel continues to play in educating the community about WA’s naval heritage.

“Incorporating this maintenance work into a broader revitalisation of Victoria Quay will ensure the historical port area continues to be enjoyed by visitors for years to come,” Mr Templeman said.