Brazil’s Wilson Sons Shipyards took an important step in recent months with the delivery of three vessels that represent milestones not only in the company’s history, but also for the Brazilian shipbuilding industry. Among them are two vessel models never before built in the country.
Adalberto Souza, CEO of Wilson Sons Shipyards, said: “We built three vessels that made the year of 2015 very special. For the first time, a ROVSV (remotely operated vehicle support vessel) was built in Brazil. In addition, we built our first OSRV (oil spill recovery vessel) and delivered the biggest tug in the Brazilian market. We’ve got many reasons to celebrate.”
The ROVSV Fugro Aquarius, delivered in November, was the highlight of the year, added Souza (IT&O, July/August 2015, page 59). “The construction of Fugro Aquarius was a great challenge for us and proved to be an important learning experience. The assembly of a vessel of dimensions this complex was a watershed in our history and shows our constant commitment to innovation.”
One of the boldest ships ever developed in the country, the ROVSV reached an index of local content of more than 60 per cent – one of the requirements of the Brazilian oil & gas market – thanks to the working model and the suppliers that Wilson Sons Shipyards helped develop with the Dutch Damen project. Intended for a wide range of services, the vessel can contribute in various ways to support research activities conducted in waters of up to 3,000m in depth.
December saw the OSRV Jim O’Brien take to the seas. Commissioned by OceanPact for US$40m, the vessel is the result of the work of about 300 professionals over 22 months. Souza said: “Despite being a smaller vessel in dimensions than PSVs and the ROVSV we assembled, Jim O’Brien has many specific requirements, such as the oil collecting system, tank heating system, large areas and explosion-proof enclosures.”
Wilson Sons Shipyards also has a contract with OceanPact to deliver another OSRV in the first quarter of 2016: Fernando de Noronha will have specifications similar to Jim O’Brien.
The third ‘milestone’ delivery was WS Titan, delivered in December to Wilson Sons Tugboats. Among the most modern in the country, as well as the largest and most powerful, it is the first escort tug in Brazil.
For 2016, Souza foresees challenges. In addition to the new OSRV for OceanPact, the company has orders from Wilson Sons Tugboats and Wilson Sons Ultratrug Offshore. For the latter, two PSV 5000s are being finalised.
“The original project requirement was for PSVs of 4,500dwt,” said Souza. “We are always one step ahead and were able to meet the request to build beyond the original capacity requested. For Wilson Sons Tugboats six vessels will be delivered in 2016 and 2017 to finish an order of 12.
“We are also prospecting customers. We have two shipyards specialised in building medium-sized vessels with the support of a large group. We’re identifying where there is demand for us to be of service. The challenge is to conquer markets in a challenging time for the Brazilian shipbuilding industry”.
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