Petrobras opens bid for 22 new tankers
Transpetro has officially begun bidding procedures for a $2 billion phase of tanker newbuilding expansion.
The tankering arm of Petrobras SA. wants 22 new tankers including three bunker tankers, eight product carriers, four LPG carriers, three aframaxes and four suezmaxes. The three bunker tanker newbuildings will be a reversal of Petrobras's longstanding policy to charter barges instead of owning them.
Petrobras currently has around 10 barges on charter in Santos, Brazil's largest bunker port.
This latest wave of orders is the second phase of the company's ''aggressive expansion'' drive which was launched by Transpetro president Sergio Machado in Rio de Janeiro last week.
''We have invited 13 Brazilian shipyards and 14 foreign shipyards to bid, but under the fundamental condition that all the ships be built in Brazil with national participation of 70%,'' said Machado.
Transpetro had last year signed contracts worth some $2.48 billion to build 26 tankers with four shipyards in Rio de Janeiro, Suape and Itajai.
Transpetro currently owns and operates a fleet of 54 tankers and both phases of newbuildings would double the fleet.