STX OSV to double Brazil output

15 Dec 2010

The Ålesund, Norway-based STX OSV Holdings Ltd., one of the major designers and shipbuilders of offshore support vessels, plans to double its shipbuilding capacity in Brazil.

STX OSV, of which STX Europe AS is the major shareholder, together with its subsidiaries, currently operates nine shipbuilding facilities, including five in Norway, two in Romania, one in Brazil and one in Vietnam. In response to the Petrobras’s oil-exploration investment plan which is claimed to be the world’s largest, STX OSV will begin production at a second yard in Pernambuco, northeast Brazil in 2012 and begin deliveries the following year.

Plans for the new yard were driven by Brazil’s local content requirements and the advantages of being in the country. Brazil is the fastest growing offshore market in the world and the government has instructed Petrobras to use domestic suppliers to help boost the nation’s industrial development. Petrobras plans to spend $224 billion in the five years through 2014 to boost output and refining capacity, including buying drill-ships, semi-submersibles and offshore support vessels. The Rio de Janeiro-based company said it will revise its investment plan in 2011 to include new oil reserves it bought from the government as part of its share sale.

The new yard will only build vessels for the Brazilian market and there will be enough demand to support the company’s two yards in the country according to a company spokesman. STX OSV expects to maintain its almost 50% share of the specialized high-end segment of the offshore support vessel market in Brazil, Reite said. These ships include platform supply vessels that are bigger than 4,500 dwt and anchor-handling tugs that have more than 20,000 brake horsepower engines.

The company is also developing deepwater vessels which are able to work in harsher environments as oil companies widen their search for new fields.

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