Industry groups hit out at Brazilian giant

Brazilian industry groups say Petrobras’ claim for local content waivers has ignored the success stories, including a string of chartered units delivered on time with local content of around 65%.

“Petrobras has stated that the Brazilian industry is supposedly unable to make deliveries within the established deadlines and that the prices practiced in the country are not competitive,” wrote Ariovaldo Rocha, president of Brazil’s biggest shipbuilding association, Sinaval.

“The (Petrobras) statement disregards many successful experiences, which have allowed successive production records in the pre-salt, all carried out with a high index of local content.”

Sinaval argues that local suppliers were not adequately consulted or included in the initial attempts to contract the Libra pilot floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

This argument was upheld on a preliminary basis when a Rio de Janeiro judge granted an injunction last month that suspended the re-framed Libra tender just as it was about to conclude.

Petrobras has not managed to get this injunction lifted, but has told participants to be on stand-by to submit bids soon.

Petrobras lawyers told the judge hearing the case that the injunctin is costing $5 million per day, including $1.3 million in losses to the Libra partners and $3.7 million in royalties and the federal share of production.

By these calculations the injunction has so far cost around $175 million.

The scene is set for what promises to be a very lively public hearing on 30 March in Rio de Janeiro.