Monday, 16 April 2018 17:47
Benefited from the new wave of orders from Petrobras, GE won its largest short-term contract in Latin America of US $ 300 million (equivalent to R $ 1.028 billion). The Brazilian unit of the American conglomerate will supply 41 gas turbines, three steam and thirteen generators, as well as services, for maintenance of eleven thermoelectric plants of the state-owned company for four years.
The investment within GE in the project was great. The company did not report values, but mobilized up to 300 professionals to meet the specificities posed by the oil company in the bidding process. Since each thermal will require one type of component and there are several phases of scheduled maintenance, the preparation was intense.
“The fact that we are talking about the largest contract in Latin America for this type of service in the short term puts the business among the largest in the segment,” said Daurio Speranzini, GE’s Latin American leader.
Marcio Delorenzo, GE Gas Services’ sales director for Latin America, said he does not remember another contract of this importance to the area around the world. According to him, the type of project is characteristic of the changes that the conglomerate is promoting internally, always aggregating the provision of services in the supply. “It demonstrates a breakthrough in GE’s flexibility to be able to handle different customers,” he said in an interview with Valor. “We are facing these challenges in all geographies and adapting to the different realities.”
GE was, in practice, responsible for the programmed stops of Petrobras plants. The eleven units represent 80% of the company’s park and generate 4.3 gigawatts (GW). The achievement also reinforces the relationship between the machine and equipment manufacturer and the oil company, since much of the machinery, which has been operating since 2001, is already owned by GE.
According to Speranzini, Petrobras is a longtime partner of the company in strategic projects for both companies. Asked about the resumption of investments by the oil company, the executive said that if a partner of this magnitude begins to resume its normal rhythm of activity, “the indications are great.”
“We will work to make the best of this contract, which exceeds R $ 1 billion, to write the next chapters of this great partnership,” said Speranzini.
In a note, the general manager of implementation of energy projects at Petrobras, Alexandro Silva, confirmed the terms of the negotiation with GE and stressed that the contract will allow a reduction of costs for Petrobras with the maintenance of assets.
After the bidding outcome came out in December, the group began working to inspect the thermoelectric plants and plan maintenance. Delorenzo said it takes six to nine months of preparation to begin the maintenance process, which will have three phases, depending on the time or power plant being serviced.
Smaller, shorter inspection maintenance takes five to seven days, and many have been held since January at eight units. The large stops can last from 50 to 60 days and will dismantle machinery, exchange parts and even entire equipment. In July, most of these cases will be initiated.
The fact that the thermoelectric plants are in Petrobras’ asset sales plans does not change the contract plans, Delorenzo said. “In the hands of whoever they are, these plants will need the maintenance and we already have this contract closed” explained. “We did not see the sale process as a risk during the bidding,” he added.
The contract with Petrobras leaves GE’s generation services area comfortable for the next four years, but the company sees the oil and gas segment far from having its full potential in Latin America explored. “What we are seeing is resuming more sharply in Mexico and Argentina,” said Speranzini. “These countries are already showing greater demand and we expect other territories in the region to keep up with the growth trend, especially Brazil.”