OREANDA-NEWS. Petrobras’s Transpetro subsidiary signed the addenda for the resumption of the Purchase and Sale agreement for 12 vessels commissioned from the Atlantico Sul Shipyard (EAS), which had been suspended since May 2012. The shipyard has met all of our requirements in order to continue building the vessels, which are part of the Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef).

The resumption of the agreements takes place two days after the ceremony that marked the maiden voyage, in Suape, state of Pernambuco, of the vessel called Zumbi dos Palmares, which EAS delivered to Transpetro.

The Pernambucan shipyard will get technical assistance from Japanese outfit IHI Marine United, which has committed to provide the designs for the 12 vessels for which the agreements had been suspended, as per the specifications set forth under the Purchase and Sale agreement. The designs for the first series of 10 Suezmax ships were provided by Korean company Samsung, which is no longer the yard's technology partner. This led Transpetro, in May 2012, to suspend the 12 orders until EAS submitted a new partner meeting international standards.

Conceived by Transpetro to revitalize the Brazilian shipbuilding industry, Promef envisages the commissioning of 49 vessels from Brazilian shipyards. Of this total, five vessels entered into operation within an 18-month period: The JJSC Candido and Zumbi dos Palmares Suezmax vessels, built by EAS; and the Celso Furtado, Sergio Buarque de Holanda, and Romulo Almeida product ships, commissioned from the Maua shipyard, in Niteroi (RJ). The third of 22 vessels to be delivered by EAS, the Dragao do Mar will be ready late this year.

"The Brazilian shipbuilding industry is gaining traction, overcoming the learning curve at an accelerated rate. In fewer than 18 months, Zumbi dos Palmares is already the fifth vessel delivered. Promef is on track, making a critical contribution to the consolidation of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry, a strategic sector for the country, with great capacity to generate jobs and economic development. Today, Brazil has the third largest order portfolio in the world, and, therefore, it already has sufficient scale to gradually increase its level of productivity and to be internationally competitive," says Transpetro CEO, Sergio Machado.