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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Korea shipbuilders eye big orders from Brazil's Petrobras

Wednesday, 22 April 2009
South Korea's four shipbuilders will meet executives of Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), in Seoul this week in hopes of getting vessel orders worth more than $25 billion, the companies said. "We hope the meeting (with Petrobras) will result in real orders for offshore facilities and vessels, though there may be no immediate results an executive at one of the four shipbuilders told Dow Jones by phone. Petrobras' Chief Financial Officer Almir Barbassa and other executives will make presentations to local financial institutions on shipping finance on Monday, before holding separate meetings over Tuesday and Wednesday with each of the shipbuilders - Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., STX Shipbuilding Co. Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.
"Samsung Heavy and Daewoo Shipbuilding will be in a better position to win orders for offshore facilities such as drill ships and semi-submersible drilling rigs, due to their experience and know-how," said an executive at another shipbuilder.
But the other two shipbuilders – Hyundai Heavy and STX Shipbuilding – may also win orders as Petrobras is expected to place orders for 28 offshore facilities and vessels with overseas suppliers, said a spokesman at a third shipbuilder.
"That's because two shipbuilders cannot cope with all of the 28 ships," he said. Oil development facilities are likely to account for more than half the 28 vessel orders, shipbuilders said. The government said it will provide strong support to help the shipbuilders, which are the world's biggest, win orders from Petrobras at the meetings.
"The separate meetings will pave the way for the shipbuilders to get contracts, with vessel orders drying up amid the unprecedented economic slowdown," an official at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said by phone. Brazil has suggested that the two countries do a barter deal in which South Korean shipbuilders provide the South American country with drill ships or floating production, storage and offloading platforms in return for stakes in oil fields in the Santos area, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
However, the Petrobras officials aren't expected to discuss any oil development issues or meet with Korean energy firms, including state-run oil developer Korea National Oil Corp., during next week's visit to Seoul, said an official at KNOC Friday.
In November, South Korea and Petrobras signed a memorandum of understanding in which any payment for orders Petrobras places with Korean companies for vessels and plants will be insured by state-run Korea Export Insurance Corp.

Source: Dow Jones