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Brazilian Drill ship blow for Asian shipyards

Brazilian Drill ship blow for Asian shipyards

Seoul: Asian shipyards may find themselves grabbing at a smaller slice of the pie now that Brazilian shipyards - such as Atlantico Sul - have the capability to build sophisticated, modern drillships.

For many Asian companies, such as Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries, who were all hoping for a large share of this Brazilian business, may now lose out following new directives from state-controlled oil company Petrobras.

For Petrobras has made it known that the 28 drill ships which the oil company will need to exploit the Pre-Sal (below salt) oil fields will nearly all be built in Brazil, and will be ready for deployment from 2012 onwards.

And Seatrade Asia Online can reveal that naval ship design companies in Brazil - such as Rio de Janeiro based Projemar - are already drawing up designs for offshore operators who will present them to Petrobras for consideration.

Armando Freigedo Rodrigues, a director for consultancy Aquapor, told Seatrade Asia Online: "Right now we are seeing strong indications in the market that the Brazilian government and Transpetro are keen to build drill ships in Brazil. They are complex vessels and these usually are constructed outside of the country but there is a feeling now that our yards have modernised enough to be able to deliver this level of vessel. They seem ready and willing to win these orders now which will be bad news for the Asian yards, especially those in Korea."

Although a drill ship has never been built in Brazil before, Rodrigues added that the new Atlantico Sul shipyard would soon be capable to build complex drill ships and the plans for key construction companies, such as Camargo Correa and Andrade Gutierrez, to build new, state-of-the-art yards in Brazil, could also fit into the Petrobras equation.

The ground-breaking Atlantico Sul yard near the northeastern city of Suape could be in the running for them. One Asian yard, Samsung HI, will gain from this as it has a 10% stake in the Atlantico Sul shipyard, which already has $3bn worth of orders, mostly for tankers from Transpetro (the transport and tanker arm of Petrobras).  [20/07/09]

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