RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian shipbuilding, leasing and oil services company OSX Brasil SA, part of billionaire Eike Batista's EBX Group, said it has firm orders for vessels worth more than $31 billion.
More than $30 billion-worth of the orders are to build craft for oil producer OGX Petroleo SA, a sister company within the EBX Group, said an OSX official at Acu port, where the company is building a shipyard. Other customers include Brazil's state-owned oil and gas company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Kingfish and Malaysia's Sapura Group, OSX said.
So far, OSX has built a Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading, or FPSO, vessel in South Korea which is leased to OGX for use at the oil producer's first production field in Brazil's Campos Basin. Construction of further FPSOs are underway in Singapore and the company has 23 orders stretching to around 2017, according to the official.
OSX will start building vessels at its own shipyard at Acu, in Rio de Janeiro state, in first-quarter 2013, the official said. The unit at Acu port, designed to be the largest shipbuilding unit in the Americas, involves an investment of 3 billion reais ($1.47 billion). The company has contracted financing of BRL2.7 billion for the venture from Brazil's development bank BNDES, Caixa Economica Federal and the country's Merchant Marine Fund.
The 3.2 million square-meter shipyard, in which Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. holds 10%, will have an initial steelcutting capacity of 180,000 metric tons a year, which may be expanded to as much as 400,000 tons a year, the company said.
"If the company is able to buy steel locally, we would make $1.3 billion savings," on current orders, the official said.
Two steelmaking projects slated for Acu port are still at the environmental studies and licensing phase.
OSX plans to train around 3,100 local workers to build ships and is aiming for a 70% local content in the vessels it builds, the official said.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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