In a first, Brazilian oil company Petrobras last week reportedly sold the P-32 FPSO for sustainable recycling in Brazil, paving the way for the development of the local ship recycling industry.
The sale of the floating unit P-32 reportedly took place on July 7, 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 FPSO.
"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," said Nicola Mulinaris, Senior Communication and Policy Advisor, NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
According to Shipbreaking Platform, over the next five years, Petrobras is expected to retire at least 26 offshore platforms, with a projected investment of US$9.8 billion allocated towards decommissioning activities.
Just a few months ago, Shipbreaking Platform noted, 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," Shipbreaking Platform said.
"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."
Shipbreaking Platform's Nicola Mulinaris said.
According to World Energy Reports, the P-32 FPSO, the first FPSO set to be recycled in Brazil, was built through a conversion of the 1974-built single-hull VLCC Cairu. Conversion was done at AESA Cadiz.
Info on the World Energy Reports website shows that the conversion contract for Cairu was originally awarded to the Brazilian yard Verolme-Ishibras (IVI) for a price of $93 million. In February 1996, the IVI contract was canceled, and the Cairu conversion was given to AESA Cadiz yard. Bluewater supplied the internal turret. The FPSO was installed on the Marlim field in Aug 1997.
The internal turret-moored FPSO had a production capacity of 116,000 barrels of oil per day, and a storage capacity of 1,774,000 barrels of oil.