The risk of default in the financing of newly built vessels that do not have an operating contract surrounds maritime support companies. These vessels were ordered under the Petrobras Maritime Support Fleet Renewal Program (Prorefam). The charter contracts for vessels, originally for up to eight years and renewable for an equal period, are stagnant and have not been renewed, according to information from Abeam, the Brazilian Association of Maritime Support Companies.
The new vessels fear that they are in this situation in the face of the impact of the oil and gas sector crisis in recent years, “If there is no immediate and effective action by Petrobras and the financial agents, supported by the FMM [Merchant Marine Fund], we see a real risk of default in the payments of the financing of these vessels”, informs the president of Abeam, Ronaldo Lima.
Vessels that were not built in Brazil but received the Brazilian flag enjoy the same privileges as those built in national shipyards, where the director of Edison Chouest Offshore, Ricardo Chagas, considers it unfair for the sector to have more than 30 vessels built in Brazil and without contract. “The authorities should raise awareness and prioritize the hiring of these vessels, and not treat the issue with equality. After all, the Brazilian shipping company still has to pay the financing acquired from the financial agents approved by the FMM, while these vessels that are in the REB [Brazilian special record] enjoy benefits provided by other countries”, points out Chagas.
As of 2021, orders should be placed for the construction of new vessels, predicts Abeam. If the investments planned by Petrobras and foreign operators in exploration and production are really confirmed, this demand will become true. Thus, there will be an increase in the number of rigs and production units in operation, mainly demanding AHTS (anchor handlers) and PSV (transport of supplies).
This entire forecast is based on the results of the latest auctions by the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) and on Petrobras' business and management plan (2018-2022). “It is also necessary to consider that the portion of the Brazilian fleet that is momentarily paralyzed, awaiting contracting, will have to return to operation, which may have an impact on the number of constructions of maritime support vessels”, emphasizes Lima.
Also read these Related Links: