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Carrier building plan scrapped

Carrier building plan scrapped
Transpetro has scrapped a three-year effort to build gas carriers at Itajai Shipyard.

Transpetro has scrapped a three-year effort to build gas carriers at Itajai Shipyard.

Transpetro has scrapped a three-year effort to build gas carriers at Itajai Shipyard in favour of including the vessels in a new tender for the construction of eight gas carriers to be launched next Thursday.

?We are planning to launch the bid on August 27 and only then we will we inform the bidders" list,? Arnaldo Arcadier, Transpetro"s director responsible for its Promef I + II fleet renewal program said.

The shipping and logistics arm of state-controlled energy giant Petrobras was now planning to build eight gas carriers as part of the second phase of its newbuilding program, he said.

Up to 10 Brazilian shipyards and nine foreign shipbuilders have been invited to bid for the gas carriers.

In total, the tanker giant is now seeking to build four 7,200 cu m gas carriers, another two with a capacity of 4,000 cu m and two more with a capacity of 12,000 cu m.

Mr Arcadier confirmed that despite delays in the construction of the original three 7,200 cu m gas carriers, the Brazilian tanker specialist would not be tempted to build these types of vessels abroad.

?The construction shall be performed in Brazil,? he said, insisting that the domestic content of the second phase of its newbuilding program had been raised from 65% to 70%.

The Itajai Shipyard was the only bidder for the first three gas carriers in 2006 but the shipyard"s problems in securing funding hindered the project"s development.

After Spanish shipping group Elcano acquired the yard in 2008 there was hope that the order would be concluded and a fourth partially completed gas carrier, Metaltanque IV, would be added to the Transpetro fleet.

But Mr Arcadier said the decision had been taken to group this parcel into the second phase of the company"s fleet modernisation program.

The first contracts for the 23 vessels originally included in Promef II are due to be awarded next month.

?Ten of the 23 vessels ? seven dynamic positioning shuttle tankers (four suezmax and three aframax) and the three bunker vessels, will have the contract signed soon, and for the rest our target is the end of this year,? Mr Arcadier said.

Another four 45,000 dwt product tankers, five 30,000 dwt clean product tankers and the eight gas carriers will complete the newbuilding program taking the total number of vessels up for grabs to 27.


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