That shipping industry is going through its worst crisis we all know. We are feeling in the worst way what corruption schemes, administrative improprieties and long-term lack of investments cause to the economy of a sector, institution or a country. In the next ones, we will briefly discuss what is happening and why we are taking so long to get out of this endless chaos that plagues the business of Oil and Gas, but specifically the naval sector, which is the main topic of today's article.
The naval sector was already a milestone in Brazil's economic growth in the 1970s, but nowadays, it seems that we are far from repeating that milestone. Currently, we have 40 shipyards in the country, 12 of which are not working and the rest have almost no services due to the lack of orders and little cash for large investments. This is a reflection of executives in this sector involved in corruption schemes granted by Lava Jato. From that time, what remains today is just 50,000 workers and a debt that runs into the billions. These data were provided by Sinaval (National Union of the Naval Industry).
Of the shipyards that are still operating, some are still building barges or catamarans. The sector focused on the construction and assembly of rigs and ships, which was conceived precisely to meet the needs of Petrobras, is running out of time due to projects that are being completed, which should not take more than 2 months of service. After that, there will be more shipyards that add up negatively to this operational inactivity statistic.
It was on Lula's government that the excitement to invest in shipyards had its beginning, soon after the pre-salt layer was found by Petrobras. After that, a lot of projects started to appear along the coast of Brazil, with a government campaign that would generate jobs to “Deus Dará” and would take the Brazilian economy to the skies. In 2007, the Merchant Marine, public and private banks disbursed a hefty sum of R$45 billion to finance around 90% of these projects.
Despite some projects being delayed in 2014, everything was smooth. Many people were employed, around eighty-two thousand people and we were in full swing with production. But when the Car wash arrived at Petrobras my dear reader, it was a real Tsunami! Oil prices plummeted and ship orders were cancelled.
In an attempt to reduce the loss, Petrobras asked the ANP to lower the tax percentages for local content, claiming that it makes operating costs more expensive in 40%.
Returning to the shipyards, it turns out that the crisis came at a time when they were investing millions in training and qualifications for operational contingents. We take as an example the company Enseada do Paraguaçu, which is associated with the companies Odebrecht, OAS and UTC, precisely those involved in Lava Jato. With a colossal waste of investment, the shipyard is at a standstill with only 18% left to complete the works due to legal issues.
Jorge Fonseca, 46, is one of the thousands of people suffering from the crisis in the naval industry. She left Rio to try her luck at Ecovix and its shipyard in Rio Grande, but was sent away along with 3,000 workers after Petrobras terminated the contract.
In Rio de Janeiro, Jorge's wife, Maria Angélica, has worked in banking, telemarketing and in the pharmaceutical sector. In Rio Grande, she can't even be a cashier in a store or supermarket. Every now and then some cleaning appears, even so, they count on the help of their son who lives in RJ and neighbors.