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Risk of default in maritime support

25 July 2018 to 02: 23
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Risk of Default maritime support
Risk of Default maritime support

Risk of default in maritime support due to lack of renewal of contracts by Petrobras

The risk of default in the financing of newly built vessels, which are without an operating contract, surrounds maritime support companies. These vessels were ordered in the Petrobras Maritime Support Fleet Renewal Program (Prorefam). The vessel charter contracts, originally for up to eight years and extendable for the same period, are stagnant and have not been renewed, according to information from Abeam, the Brazilian Association of Maritime Support Companies.

Crisis in the sector

The new vessels fear being in this situation due to the impact of the crisis in the oil and gas sector in recent years, “If there is no immediate and effective action by Petrobras and financial agents, supported by the FMM [Merchant Marine Fund], we see a real risk of default in financing payments for these vessels”, informs the president of Abeam, Ronaldo Lima.

"Flaged" Vessels

Vessels that were not built in Brazil but received the Brazilian flag enjoy the same privileges as those built in national shipyards, where the director of Edison Chouest Offshore, Ricardo Chagas, considers it unfair for the sector to have more than 30 vessels built in Brazil and without contract. “The authorities should raise awareness and prioritize the hiring of these vessels, and not treat the issue with equality. After all, the Brazilian shipping company still has to pay the financing acquired from the financial agents approved by the FMM, while those vessels that are in the REB [special Brazilian record] enjoy benefits provided by other countries”, points out Chagas.

new vessels

As of 2021, orders should be placed for the construction of new vessels, predicts Abeam. If the investments foreseen by Petrobras and foreign operators in exploration and production are really confirmed, this demand will become true. Thus, there will be an increase in the number of rigs and production units in operation, demanding mainly AHTS (anchor handlers) and PSV (supply transport).

This entire forecast is based on the results of the latest auctions by the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP) and on Petrobras' business and management plan (2018-2022). “It is also necessary to consider that the portion of the Brazilian fleet that is momentarily paralyzed, awaiting contracting, will return to operation, which may have an impact on the number of constructions of maritime support vessels”, emphasizes Lima.


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