February 14, 2006

Transpetro competition narrows

Transpetro, the transportation unit of Brazil's Petrobras, has picked four consortia as finalists to build 26 ships in Brazil at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion. However, two other groups' bids were disqualified and are under appeal.

Transpetro is deciding who will build 10 Suezmax tankers, five Aframax tankers, four Panamax tankers, three LGP carriers and four products carriers.

Thus far, the only declared winner is a consortium made up of Maua Jurong (which is 35 percent owned by the Jurong Shipyard unit of Singapore's Sembcorp Marine) and China's.

It was the only bidder for the four products tankers.

The winners of the other contracrs will depend on the outcome of appeals lodged by the two disqualified bidders.

The consortium made up of Singapore's Keppel FELS and its Brazilian BrasFELS unit plus Korea's Daewoo was disqualified for not giving details of financing conditions. It was bidding on the Suexmax and Aframax ships.

A consortium of Brazil's EISA Montagens and Korea's STX was disqualified on the grounds that EISA did not meet minimum net equity requirements, the statement said. It had been bidding for the Panamax ships and LPG carriers.

Transpetro expects a decision on the appeals to be taken in time to reach a decision on the remaining bids in March.

Brazilian engineering firms Camargo Corra, Andrade Gutierrez, Queiroz Galvo and Aker Yards' Brazilan unit Aker Promar are teamed with Korea's Samsung in bidding for 10 Suezmax tankers and five Aframax tankers.

The Rio Naval consortium, made up of Brazil's MPE, EISA, Sermetal and Korea's Hyundai is bidding for 10 Suezmax, five Aframax and four Panamax tankers