Rio Grande Naval Complex - Dedicated to Brazil´s Pre-salt

New Wave Media

October 21, 2010



The launching of the Rio Grande Naval Complex completes another key project for pre-salt production, as the complex will house the hybrid pre-salt FPSO production line, which already has an order book for 8 units.

Petrobras has launched today the Rio Grande Naval Complex, in the city of Rio Grande, southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. The complex is considered so vital to the Brazilian pre-salt production that the outgoing president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was in attendance.
The complex consists of a 430,000 m² infrastructure designed for the construction and repair of offshore units for the O&G industry. The complex will be capable of building drillers and production rigs. The new structure will increase bidding competitiveness with the entry of new businesses, enabling future project price and term reductions.
Construction work for the Naval Complex began in August 2006, generating some 1,400 direct jobs (monthly average). The complex´s main facility is its dry dock, which is 350 meters long, 130 meters wide, and 17.1 meters high and is equipped with a transport crane that can lift up to 600 tons in cargo. A dike of these dimensions, amongst the largest in the world, will allow the simultaneous construction of two oil tankers or two platforms. Platforms or vessels can also be docked in it for refurbishment, conversion and repair.
 Additionally, the complex includes a large area for structure and equipment assembly, air-conditioned cabins for painting, cargo handling equipment, two mooring piers for finishing services, steel and pipe processing workshops, and several support systems such as compressed air, industrial gases, electric, wastewater collection and treatment. The facilities were designed and dimensioned in such a manner as to accommodate up to 5,000 workers and will allow in-house training for skilled labor in offshore construction. 
The construction of the Naval Complex is expected to revitalize the goods and services industry in Rio Grande and neighboring cities, generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Since Brazil has no other facilities of this size and scope, the complex will allow services previously carried out abroad to be done domestically, therefore increasing the national content and decreasing overall costs.  The complex will also allow for FPSO and rig hulls to be built in series, affording benefits such as increased productivity, process standardization, more efficiency through automation of some production lines and overall cost reductions, in addition to preventing the manpower dispersal at the end of the projects. It will also undoubtedly raise the local workforce level and probably also positively affect the level of local education. In the first half of 2011, construction is scheduled to begin on 8 FPSO hulls. Petrobras has secured the exclusive rights to use of the complex for 10 years, through a lease agreement.
- Total area of the complex: 430,000 m²
- Workshops area: 20,000 m²
- Dry dock dimensions: 130.0 X 350.0 X 17.1 meters
- Dry dock area: 45,500 m²
- North Quay length: 42 m
- South Quay length: 350 m
- Transport crane capacity: 600 tons
- Structure workshop capacity: 1,000 tons/month
- Pipe workshop capacity: 4,000 spools/month

Claudio Paschoa
Photo courtesy of Petrobras
Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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