The Promar Ceará shipyard won the bid to build eight gas tankers under the Transpetro Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef). The shipyard, which had made the best proposal among competitors, completed its price negotiations with Transpetro. The vessels' total cost will be $536 million.
This order will generate more than 10,000 jobs in Ceará. Of these, 2,700 will be direct (1,200 to build the shipyard and another 1,500 for vessel construction). Promar Ceará is another shipyard to be built in Brazil on account of Transpetro's orders. The project, worth $130 million, already has funding approved for the Merchant Marine Fund (FMM).
The gas tankers that make up the Promef were put together into a single lot, four for 7,000 cubic meters, two for 12,000 cubic meters, and two for 4,000 cubic meters. As stated in the rules of the program, these vessels will be built in compliance with a minimum nationalization index of 70% in the use of manpower and in equipment and service procurement.
The Promef revitalized the Brazilian naval industry and has already generated 15,000 direct jobs in Brazil, a figure that is expected to climb to 40,000. The program envisages the construction of 49 vessels, totaling 4 million DWT. As a result of bid won by Promar Ceará, the number of vessels that have already been tendered increases to 41. The other 8 are currently in the final contracting phase.
The first of the 49 vessels built under the program will set sail on May 03 from the Atlântico Sul Shipyard (EAS), in Pernambuco. The event will be attended president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The second vessel, meanwhile, is slated to set sail this half year, this time from the Mauá Shipyard, in Niterói (RJ).
Considering the expected increase in oil and gas production from the pre-salt layer, Transpetro will develop further phases of the program, expanding the vessel orders to the Brazilian shipbuilding industry in order to meet the growing demand for maritime transportation. In this regard, the state-owned company plans to launch the Promef III until the end of 2010.