Four new construction yard foundations are being built in the Aratu Bay inside the Bay of All Saints (Baía de Todos os Santos), in the state of Bahia.
The four new yards will build offshore rigs modules and the complex is expected to open a total of 4,000 work positions for the local workforce. The state maritime and port industry secretary commented that there is a need to invest in workforce training or there will be an invasion of workers from other states. Steps are being taken by the State and Federal Government to qualify workers, such as welders, painters and technicians to man the yards.
The new yards will be run by four different companies, Belov Engenharia and GDK from Bahia, Multitek from Minas Gerais and Niplan from São Paulo. Each yard will have approximately 100 thousand m² and workforce 1,000 strong. The total investment should reach around R$200 million ($116 million by today´s currency exchange). The GDK yard will have the biggest investment at around R,$100 million ($58 million), While the others will have investments of around R$30 million ($17 million). All the yards will be dedicated to built offshore platform modules, which are the different parts the make-up an offshore rig, such as floaters, legs and deck modules.
These four new maritime construction yards will join the already operational São Roque do Paraguaçu (SRP) yard, in Maragojipe, located south, across the Bay of All Saints. This shipyard is already building two rigs for Petrobras (P-59 and P-60) and has a workforce of two thousand. The SRP yard is controlled by a partnership between Brazilian companies Odebrecht, Queiroz Galvão and UTC Engenharia.
With the four new construction yards, the maritime complex in Bahia will reach a workforce of 6 thousand. The total workforce may reach up to 14 thousand is the partnership that is planning to build the Paraguaçu Shipyard in Maragojipe wins the tender to build drill ships for Petrobras, as the plans for this shipyard contemplate a workforce of 8 thousand.
Although there are yet to be any orders made by Petrobras, the government of Bahia and even Petrobras executives believe that the orders will come. According to Ricardo Barbosa, a Petrobras manager directly involved in the rig construction projects, the company already has a fixed platform project which may be built at São Roque do Paraguaçu and its modules would be separately built at each of these new yards to be connected and finished at the SRP shipyard. The construction of this rig could start as soon as January 2011 and offer an initial 1,200 jobs.
Logistically it is very interesting to have a number of rigs build in yards in Bahia since Petrobras has been investing around R$1 billion a year in E&P in Bahia. There are 110 wells operating off the Bahia coast and the forecast is for 39 more offshore well there in the next five years.
The area where the four new projects will be built is a very idyllic location, with palm trees and tropical jungle, within the huge Bay of All Saints. At the entrance to this huge bay lies the city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia. The Aratu Bay is a small bay further within the main bay in a very grass roots location, composed of small villages and humble people. This complex that is being built there and the infrastructure that comes with it will definitely change the reality of the local population. It is an area with few technological job opportunities and few opportunities for proper education, all this will change with the introduction of modern schools for the children and technical school for adults. This will bring a significant increase in job opportunities, new earnings and further education for these humble Brazilians.
photo courtesy of Odebrecht