BNDES Approves Loan for P-52 Construction

The Brazilian Development Bank, or BNDES, said Wednesday its board of directors approved a loan of $378 million to finance a new offshore platform to be built for state-oil company Petrobras S.A. (PBR).

In December 2003, a consortium formed by local units of Singapore's Keppel Fels (K02.SG) and France's Technip (TKP) signed a contract for the construction and installation of the P-52 platform that is slated to have a total construction cost of $895 million.

BNDES will only finance parts of the platform which are composed of at least 60% of domestic Brazilian components and will channel its finance to the consortium via Petrobras' subsidiary Petrobras Netherlands B.V., the bank said in a statement.

After its construction in the Brasfels shipyard close to Rio de Janeiro, the P-52 rig is planned to be used in the Roncador field in the Campos Basin off the coast of Rio state with a planned production capacity of 180,000 barrels a day.

The P-52 is slated to be operational by the first quarter of 2007. Together with other new platforms, it is expected to help boost Brazilian crude exports after the country has reached self-sufficiency in oil, planned by the end of 2005.