ABS has marked the 60th anniversary of its activities providing classification services to the Brazilian shipping and offshore industries with a dinner in Rio de Janeiro attended by luminaries from the Brazilian maritime community.
Speaking at the dinner ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville noted the significant expansion of the offshore, shipbuilding and shipowning sectors that is currently taking place in Brazil.
"ABS is proud to have been providing support to the offshore industry in Brazil," he said, noting the many industry innovations that have been developed by the industry in the country. "With Brazilian shipyards resurgent, busily planning to meet the expected influx of new orders, ABS pledges its continued support to the region and looks forward to helping create a new chapter in its history," he added.
Those orders are planned to meet the nation's planned expansion of its tanker fleet and the expanding demand for offshore exploration, production and support vessels for both existing developments and the newly announced pre-salt reserves. ABS has been increasing its staff to meet these new opportunities and now has nearly 50 surveyors and engineers based in the country to support some of the world’s most complex offshore and marine projects.
"Our leading position within the offshore sector worldwide gives us the experience and the knowledge to participate in the anticipated growth in marine activity associated with the development of the pre-salt oil and gas discoveries," ABS Americas President Thomas Gilmour said during the dinner.
At the present time, nearly 60 percent of the classed offshore units in operation off Brazil have been built to or are being maintained to ABS Rule standards. ABS has created an organizational structure that brings together dedicated survey, engineering and project management teams to better serve the offshore industry as a whole, including new construction projects, conversions and existing offshore units that are operating in Brazilian waters.
Industry firsts for ABS in the region include the classification of the first jack-up platform built in Brazil, in 1968, and the "Petrobras 31," the first VLCC converted to an FPSO in Brazil. ABS was recently awarded classification for the pilot floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) for the giant Tupi pre-salt field in the Santos Basin. Ultimately several FPSOs are planned for the field.
Complex deepwater field developments are calling for an increase in offshore supply vessels (OSVs) in the region. ABS currently classes approximately one-third of the world's fleet of offshore supply and support vessels and is assisting regional owners with the development of larger and more technologically advanced workhorses to meet the demands of future deepwater developments off Brazil.
Within the shipping sector, Transpetro, the tanker arm of Petrobras, opened the year with an order for the first 10 vessels in its planned fleet expansion, all to be built to ABS class. The vessels are a "first" in many categories – the first tankers to be built in Brazil since 1997, the first vessels to be built in South America to the new IACS Common Structural Rules (CSR) for tankers, and the first series of ships contracted to Estaleiro Atlantico Sul's Suape Shipyard, currently under construction in Pernambuco.
In addition, a series of five 2700 TEU container carriers, designed by Projemar for the Brazilian Owner Log-in will be built at the EISA shipyard in Rio de Janeiro to ABS class. And the first jackup units to be built in Brazil for more than two decades, a two unit order, are to be built by Odebracht for Petrobras in the state of Baiha, to ABS class.
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