By Ramona Ordoñez / Bruno Rosa – Globo
RIO – The contraction of Petrobras’ investments in the last three years has hit Rio de Janeiro, the country’s largest oil producer and where the largest number of companies in the sector are concentrated. But after reaching the bottom of the well, projects in the area of oil and infrastructure with private investments amounting to at least R $ 8.2 billion begin to materialize.
In addition, Petrobras itself shows signs of reaction. Last week, the state-owned company signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership with China’s CNPC for several oil and gas fields. According to one source, among the projects, is the resumption of the construction of a refinery at the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj) in Itaboraí, which will require investments between US $ 3.5 billion and US $ 4 billion.
But total investment may increase further in the medium and long term with oil rounds, say experts and government. In September and October, two oil auctions take place in the post and pre-salt fields, as well as another four until 2019. According to the projections of the National Petroleum Agency, the new events can generate investments of US $ 30 billion for the Development of the areas in the blocks located in the coast of the State of Rio.
– There are good prospects, with Petrobras making its internal arrangements, and private companies positioning themselves. We have already seen a move that will gain strength next year, with investment funds interested in the energy sector. The upcoming oil auctions will come with a major shift in investor sentiment – commented Marcelo Gomes, president of Alvarez & Marsal.
Terminals of Ponta Negra will have investment of R $ 5.2 billion
In Rio de Janeiro, the new private projects are concentrated in the Lakes Region and in the Northern part of the state. The prospect of growth in oil activities stimulated the planning of Ponta Negra Terminals (TPN), in Jaconé Beach, between Maricá and Saquarema, aimed at serving the oil and gas industry with the development of the pre-salt fields. The DTA Engenharia project foresees investments of R $ 5.2 billion and the generation of 20 thousand direct and indirect jobs in full operation. Although the project faces some environmental obstacles, DTA Engenharia executives believe they will soon receive the installation license from the State Environmental Institute (Inea) to Start work. The licensing process has been in progress for five years.
– This is a project that has zero subsidy, tax benefit. It is 100% private equity, and we have partners interested in forming consortiums in the business – said Fernando Siriani, director of DTA Engenharia.
Siriani recalled that the first step is the construction of the terminal itself. Then there will be a container park and an offshore support base. Thus, the NTP will be prepared to carry out oil transfer operations between ships, destined for export. In the stretch where the terminal will be built, 500 meters from the coast, the depth reaches 30 meters, which will allow the operation with large oil tankers without the need for dredging. Inea reported that the project is in the final phase of analysis by the technical area.
In São João da Barra, Prumo Logística, which operates and develops Açu Port, will invest R $ 3 billion in the construction of a gas-fired thermal plant and a regasification station. The project is expected to generate 3,000 jobs starting next year, when construction begins.The new thermal plant will also have the partnership of Siemens and the oil company BP.
– We have the pre-salt gas. We are creating a solution to evacuate the gas that comes with oil. Thermal will start operating in 2021. Since 2014, we have already invested R $ 5 billion to finalize these works and others, such as the oil and iron ore terminal – says the company.
The company explains that the thermal plant is part of a larger project, which provides for the construction of other units. The project will consume total investments of R $ 15 billion and become the largest thermal area in the country:
“But you have to have the gas.” That is why we are talking to all oil producers, because there is a need for gas disposal.
INDUSTRIAL PARK OF MACAÉ
Park Bellavista, in Macaé, in the North of the State of Rio de Janeiro, is going through an expansion that will triple, until 2019, its area to receive companies from the oil and gas sector.
Undoubtedly, the municipality of Macaé was one of the most affected by the sharp downturn in investments not only from Petrobras, but from all the activity of the oil sector in recent years, not only due to the impact of the revelations of the corruption scheme discovered by Operation Lava-Jato, but falling commodity price.
But new projects in the petroleum sector in Macaé are beginning to take shape. This is the case of Parque Bellavista, a private industrial center where 19 oil companies are installed, which is going to triple in size. It will go from the current one million square meters to three million square meters. The estimated investments are around R $ 50 million.
The director of Bellavista Park, Leonardo Dias, explained that the idea of expansion of the industrial area arose in 2013, when the oil sector was in full growth. And even with the onset of the crisis, he said, the group did not give up the project, believing in the future expansion of oil production in the pre-salt:
The total expansion of the area is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. At the moment, about a third of the work has already been completed and four new companies have already settled. Despite the crisis of the last few years, no company ever got out of the industrial park:
They are large companies, which continue with contracts in progress. There was a reduction in the volume of contracts, layoffs and idle capacity in some facilities, but the companies continue to operate in the expectation of resumption of the sector, which begins to give the first signs.
Christino Aureo, secretary of the Civil and Economic Development of the State of Rio, said that there is a prospect of resuming projects in Rio. Even in the face of the difficulties of, with the 37% drop in royalties and special participation last year, Áureo highlights the expectation of signing the tax recovery regime in the coming days and the resumption of the oil sector with the new auctions.
– Despite the political crisis, oil companies show confidence, since the disbursements will only be from 2018. We are receiving some consultations. There is much appetite of the Chinese. China is the largest producer of capital goods and is looking for opportunities.