Petrobras (PBR) reported that Usiminas offered the best price and won the bid for the purchase of 7,700 tons of steel plates to be used to build vessels under the Transpetro Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef).
The steel will be used by the Mauá Shipyard, located in Niterói (state of Rio de Janeiro), which is building four oil derivatives ships for the program. The first of these vessels will be launched and christened during a ceremony scheduled for June. This will be the second Promef launch this year, marking the revival of Brazilian shipbuilding industry through orders placed by Transpetro.
Nine steel plants from five countries took part in the tender. With the result, Usiminas already has 40,000 tons of steel contracted to be used in the construction of Promef ships. This amount represents 32% of the plates purchased for the program to date, which adds up to 123,600 tons.
"We have always stated that our preference is to buy steel in Brazil, as long as the price is internationally competitive. The result of this tender signals the beginning of a new era in the relationship between Usiminas and Transpetro, precisely at a time in which the Brazilian naval industry is resuming its activities," said Transpetro CEO, Sergio Machado.
The construction of the 49 vessels for the Transpetro fleet will consume a total of 680,000 tons of steel. The company will continue holding international price inquiries in order to always ensure the best trade conditions for the shipyards that are participating in the Promef. Given the weight of steel in the cost of a vessel (20 to 30%), this strategy is key to boosting the competitiveness of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry.