OSX Brasil secures $1.3 billion financing for giant Açu shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey

acuOSX Brasil S.A. (Bovespa: OSXB3) has obtained financing of $1.3 billion for its Açu Shipbuilding Unit. Subsidiary OSX Construção Naval has entered into contracts with lending agents BNDES (National Development Bank) and CEF (Caixa Econômica Federal) for financing with resources from the FMM – Merchant Marine Fund, in the approximate amount of R$ 1.35 billion each, totaling approximately R$ 2.7 billion (about US$ 1.3 billion).

The financing is dedicated to the implementation of the Açu Shipbuilding Unit, set to be the largest shipyard in the Americas, which OSX has been building since July 2011 in the north of the State of Rio de Janeiro. It is scheduled to begin partial operations in the first quarter of 2013. Its order book already includes 16 offshore units for oil and gas production in Brazil.

OSX Brasil terms Açu a “fifth generation shipyard” with technology being provided by partner Hyundai Heavy Industries Its 2,400 m quay — expandable to 3,525 m — will simultaneously integrate up to 11 FPSOs. Located in the Açu Superport Industrial Complex, the shipyard is located 150 km from the Campos Basin, which generates around 85 percent of Brazilian oil production.

“The Açu Shipbuilding Unit is an extraordinary tool for the development of oil and gas production in Brazil. The financing obtained from the Merchant Marine Fund reaffirms the strategic importance of its implementation for our country,” said OSX Chairman Eike Batista.

The loan has 252-month tenure (21 years) for both financial institutions, with a 42/36-month grace period for amortization of principal and 36/30-month grace period for payment of interest to BNDES and CEF, respectively. The expected average interest rate is US$ + 3.38% p.a., paid monthly with the amortization of principal after the grace period. The Board of Directors of the Merchant Marine Fund approved this financing priority for OSX in June 2011.

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