Rig Module Hub in Bahia

New Wave Media

December 22, 2010



The Brazilian northeast state of Bahia will house various construction yards and shipyards dedicated to rig module construction, such as jackets and floats.

Accompanying the growth in ship construction in the Brazilian northeast states, the tropical state of Bahia is showing a marked increase in shipbuilding investments.
Along the “Baía de Todos os Santos” or Bay of All Saints, various yards are being built to compete for rig module orders. The major client will undoubtedly be Petrobras, but there are expectations that as the yards increase their efficiency, other national and foreign O&G players operating in the Brazilian offshore will also become interested in placing orders to these new yards.
The massive Bay of All Saints has locations to spare for shipyards to build their plants and presently both sides of the bay are experiencing this shipbuilding spree. Other infrastructure builds are also expected, such as port terminals, refineries and offshore equipment factories.
The two main areas seeing the most investments are at the Aratu Bay on the north shore and in Paraguaçu on the south shore. At Paraguaçu the São Roque Shipyard is being run by Petrobras building the P-59 and P-60 rigs. This is the only yard in Brazil that is actually owned by Petrobras and has been in service since 1977. All the works are being done under a partnership between Brazilian companies OTC Engineering, OAS and Odebrecht.
On the other shore of the bay, Belov Engineering (which presently has the largest subsea structures contract in Brazil from Petrobras), GDK, Multitek and Niplan Engineering are all building different yards, having in common the goal to build some of the many hundreds of rigs modules which will be needed to develop Brazil´s O&G potential. This will also help solidify northeast Brazil as a major ship and rig building region.
Altogether nearly $150 million will be invested on these four new yards, will a possibility of something around 10,000 direct jobs being created in this otherwise rural area. One of the most important factors is that these will all be modern yards, targeting efficient construction processes and heavy on automation, instead of the old Brazilian shipbuilding attitude of relying on cheap labor and low construction prices to win contracts. Today efficiency and quality control are mandatory in order to be competitive. Another important fact is that with the development of the deepwater pre-salt fields, there will be a major demand for various kinds of subsea structures especially for the pipelines and many of these may well be built in Bahia.
There is also an increasing demand for subsea structures for shallow water diving operations as new shallow water reservoir discovery rates is definitely on a rise in Brazil.
Claudio Paschoa
Paschoa, Claudio
Claudio Paschoa is Marine Technology Reporter's correspondent in Brazil.
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