Petrobras, the major Brazilian energy company, has achieved a significant milestone in its new commitment to sustainable ship recycling with the successful conclusion of the auction for the disposal of a floating offshore platform in Brazil.
The sale of the floating unit P-32, which has operated in the Marlim field of the Campos Basin, took place on 7 July 2023. In a collaboration supervised by Petrobras, the steel company Gerdau S.A. and shipyard Ecovix have been entrusted with the responsible and environmentally sound recycling of the platform.
“This decision marks the first time a commercial vessel at the end of its lifecycle will be dismantled in Brazil. This significant move not only paves the way for the development of a recycling industry in Brazil but also sets an important precedent for the shipping and oil and gas sectors, encouraging other ship owners to adopt similar strategies for capacity building,” says Nicola Mulinaris, Senior Communication and Policy Advisor of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
Over the next five years, Petrobras is expected to retire at least 26 units, with a projected investment of US$9.8 billion allocated towards decommissioning activities.
Just a few months ago, the oil and gas giant announced the adoption of a new policy mandating the recycling of vessels only in facilities equipped with dry-docks or impermeable surfaces with drainage systems.
This off the beach stance places the company among an increasing number of responsible ship owners, including competitors SBM Offshore and Shell, that are choosing facilities with infrastructure enabling the safe and environmentally sound management of their end-of-life assets.
“After years of selling numerous old vessels for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking on the shores of South Asia, Petrobras has finally committed to environmental stewardship by unequivocally disavowing such practices. Moreover, their decision to opt for a domestic solution, leveraging the state-of-the-art infrastructure available in Brazil, showcases that it is possible to find alternative and better solutions to beaching,” concludes Mulinaris.
Photo credit: iStock/ herraez. January 27, 2016, stock photo of Petrobras oil platform, Tenerife Port, Spain.