Malaysia has struck a “no find-no fee” deal with a US company to locate the wreckage of downed flight MH370.
The government accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity, according to Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester.
The Texas-based company will foot the bill if it fails to find the wreckage.
The disappearance of MH370 remains shrouded in mystery. The Malaysia Airlines flight fell off radar on 8 March 2014, between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, with 239 people on board.
A massive maritime search operation for the plane cleared 120,000 sq km at an estimated cost of about $200m, before it was suspended in January.
Ocean Infinity has not revealed the estimated cost of the new search. According to Mr Chester, the company will focus on a 25,000 sq km area identified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as having a “high probability” of containing the aircraft.
Australia has agreed to provide technical assistance at the request of the Malaysian government, Mr Chester said.
MH370 was carrying passengers and crew from 14 different countries when it disappeared. Most were from China and Malaysia.
Australia led the initial search, after aviation officials identified the ocean floor off its coast as the likely location of the wreckage.
Earlier this month, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the government had received proposals from three private search firms – Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian company.
Delivering its report into the disappearance earlier this month, Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau said it was “almost inconceivable” that the aircraft had not been found.