Techint interview outlines the scenario for offshore construction in Brazil


Libra 2 with ten Brazilian modules

With the imminent end of the construction of the P-76, Techint is running out of time to seek new offshore construction contracts. In an interview with BE Petróleo, the company’s commercial director, Luís Guilherme de Sá, says that the next feasible opportunity to bring works to Brazil is Mero 2, which, in its calculations, can have ten modules made in the country. “The discussion can not come down to how much it costs to build here or out there. You need to have a strategic country view, “says the executive.

How are the works of the P-76? What is the expected completion?

They are doing well, everything within the programmed schedule, with completion scheduled for the end of this year.

How did Techint do the carry–over on the hull?

It was a new job, a great opportunity for us to explore the limits of what we can do on our site. Because the initial scope was the manufacturing of 15 modules and the integration and lifting of all 20 modules that make up the platform. We were a little worried about being a yard work, but we performed super well.

Works that are almost taboo in Brazil …

When they talk about local hull content they are referring to the construction of new hull, which is a complication and the need of a dry dock.

In this case it was a converted hull?

Yes, and job did not demand a dry dock. They were internal works, with additional reinforcements, painting of the tanks, expansion of the module for accommodations and any part of completion of the conversion that had remained pending. We also did pioneering work in the country, that was the installation of the bell mouth at sea with divers and methodology developed here at Techint.

Looking ahead, the most recently contracted FPSOs (Mero 1 and Sepia) and still in bidding (Marlim 1 and 2 and Búzios) will have very low levels of local content. How do you view this scenario?

The charterers have been looking for us, but the rules of the game encourage charterers to hire the modules and much of the overseas integration. So unfortunately there is very little left to be done in Brazil, detrimental to the national industry.

And how is Techint’s yard in Pontal do Paraná?

We get accumulated know-how and skilled labor in the region in the expectation of a new contract. What makes us more optimistic are the future contracrs respecting the new rules defined by the ANP, which establishes local content of 40% for the existing contracts that signed the additives of local content.

In this case the operators will not be able to resort to the waiver.

Exactly. The ANP made a very serious study and consulted the industry, checking existing capacities and balancing  point between competitiveness and an adequate level of occupation of the local industry.

Several oil companies have adhered to the additives. Does this give peace of mind to the construction industry?

Hope, not tranquility. This will only come with the contracts. The package of projects on the market will not scale. What exists for us is Libra [Mero] 2. Petrobras had established two alternatives of local content in the edict. Since there was a definition of 40% by the ANP, I believe they will respect it. We have already begun to be contacted [by the charterers] for Libra 2, which is a positive sign.

Have the charterers indicated the Brazilian scope?

Not yet. But we believe that we will have a reasonable scope, something around ten modules. The discussion can not come down to how much it costs to build here or out there. You need to have a strategic country view. Do we want a country that employs an engineer, a skilled workforce and develops technology or a finished product importer? Each platform project generates five thousand direct jobs and ten thousand indirect jobs, apart from the impact on families. We are talking about a universe of 50 thousand people.

In the meantime will Techint look for alternative projects to maintain the site?

We have already evaluated many options, but the focus is offshore construction. Module and integration is a high added value construction, which allows the country to develop a series of qualifications, unlike building a hull, which has much less technological content.

Source: Brazil Energy

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