RIO DE JANEIRO – On March 17, Petrobras President Maria das Graças Silva Foster and Director of Exploration and Production José Formigli announced the start of the seventh round of the Fleet Renewal Plan for Offshore Support Vessels (Prorefam). Contracts were also signed for the fifth round of the program.
Formigli said that calls for bids for the sventh and final round will be issued by March 21, and that proposals must be submitted to Petrobras by June 27. Contract signing is scheduled for Oct. 30. Speaking about Petrobras' expectations for the round, the director reinforced the importance of the Brazilian industry setting competitive prices.
"The expectation is to sign these contracts on a competitive basis, and this is very important, Formigli said. “We are always comparing Brazilian prices with foreign ones, and we are definitely not willing to sign contracts if there is a significant difference."
The director presented the program's scope, which includes a total of up to 146 vessels over seven rounds between 2008 and 2014. The minimum local construction content varies between 50% and 60%, depending on the type of vessel, and is 70% for the offshore operations phase.
"At this point, we have managed to sign contracts for 87 of 146 vessels," stated Formigli, who added that, of these 87 vessels, 61 are under construction and 26 are operating.
Contracts were signed with Bram Offshore Transportes Maritimos Ltda, Norskan Offshore Ltda, and Starnav Serviços Marítimos Ltda. for eight vessels from the fifth round call
Contracts were signed for 13 vessels in the first round, 27 in the second, 16 in the third, 23 in the fourth, and eight in the last round. Of these, 76 vessels are platform supply vessels (PSVs) used for loading platforms with liquid and solid loads, and oil-spill response vessels (OSRVs) designed for recovering oil offshore. Eleven are anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels that are built to handle anchors, tow-vessels, and transport supplies.
Out of the fleet of offshore support vessels working with Petrobras, 53% are Brazilian. Construction timeframes are three years from the time of contract execution for PSVs and OSRVs, and four years for AHTSs. Contracts are valid for up to eight years. Minimum local construction content is 60% for PSVs and OSRVs, and 50% for AHTS vessels. For vessel operations, minimum local content is 70%.