A report on the website of Brazilan news magazine Veja alleged Keppel Fels Brasil and Sembmarine's Jurong Aracruz shipyard paid more than $6m in bribes. The bribes were alleged to have been paid by representatives of Keppel and SembMarine to officials of Petrobras and directors of Sete Brasil, a subsidiary of Petrobras.
Keppel said in a strongly worded statement: “We refute allegations made in media reports on Keppel FELS’ involvement in the scandal surrounding Petrobras.
“We would like to emphasise that Keppel Group has a Code of Conduct which prohibits, among others, bribery and corruption.”
Meanwhile SembMarine said: “Sembcorp Marine refers to various media reports relating to statements made by Petrobras' former engineering manager Pedro Jose Barusco and wishes to state that Sembcorp Marine did not make any illegal payment and the group's policies and contracts prohibit bribery and unethical behaviour.”
Last week the ceo Maria das Gracia Foster and five members of the board of directors of Petrobras were forced to resign after the company lost $33bn in 2014 due to corruption and financial inefficiency.
Commenting specifically on the allegations Keppel said: “We wish to point out that Zwi Skornicki is an employee of Eagle do Brasil, which is the agent of Keppel FELS in Brazil. Keppel FELS had conducted due diligence review of Eagle do Brasil and Zwi Skornicki.
“Further, the Agency Agreement with Eagle do Brasil categorically states that Eagle do Brasil and Zwi Skornicki ‘shall not make, either directly or indirectly, any improper payment of money or anything of value to an official in connection with the contract’.”