The Liberals will provide a $100 million interest-free loan to help Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat build a new high-speed vessel if it wins a third term of government.
The company has stated that like other industries in the transport market, it had been hit hard by the pandemic with one large existing order in particular having been put on hold indefinitely.
Incat said it expected other expected orders to shelved until travel markets around the world returned to near normality.
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Australian Community Media early this month reported one of Incat's customers, Spanish company Naviera Armas, was in serious financial difficulties, largely because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
That contract is worth $109 million to the company.
Incat says the $100 million loan from the government would allow it to build a new 120-metre catamaran, equipped with much sought after world-leading environmentally favoured machinery and characteristics.
Premier Peter Gutwein said the loan would secure the 500-strong workforce at Incat and would allow for up to 150 additional workers to be employed.
"Around 60 of those up to 150 jobs will be new apprenticeships," he said.
He said it would support about 250 other jobs through the company's supply chain.
The loan will be interest free for three years after which time it will accrue interest at a commercial rate.
Mr Gutwein said the five-year loan was expected to cost the government $6 million in foregone interest over the three years.
Labor leader Rebecca White said a majority Labor Government would match the government's commitment.
Labor is a strong supporter of Incat and we want to give the company and its workforce certainty that whoever wins the election on May 1, their future is secure, she said.
Incat managing director Craig Clifford said the loan would give the company the confidence to keep building through a troublesome period for the transport market.
On the decision made by the government to pass Incat's proposal to run a catamaran on the Bass Strait as part of the Spirit of Tasmania rebuild project, he maintained the company thought this was still a valid proposition.
"At the moment, our primary focus is to keep the business going," Mr Clifford said.
"We've built 100 vessels before and we've sold every one of them.
"We're very confident we'll find a buyer. I think a buyer might appear quite quickly in the scheme of things.
"But it will take several years to build the vessels.
"We just have to have the ability and the finances to keep our workforce employed."