By William Jones, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – British company Rolls-Royce, known for its luxury vehicles, announced that it will build a factory for assembling not cars but naval equipment in Rio de Janeiro. The venture is reported to cost somewhere in the region of R$80 million and will be responsible for producing propellers and other equipment for use on oil rigs and drill ships.
The plant is expected to be installed this May on a 27,000 square meter area in Duque de Caxias, 20km north of Rio. The marine base will serve as a factory to build, assemble and test large thrusters and propulsion equipment for use on semi-submersible rigs, drill ships, floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) units and other complex offshore vessels.
Delivery of the first set of UUC 405 thrusters for seven drill ships being built by Brazilian shipyard company Estaleiro Atlântico Sul for investment firm Sete Brasil will begin in June 2015.
Rolls-Royce’s plans were revealed by British Chancellor George Osborne – the UK’s chief financial minister – who believes that the plans will better serve the Brazilian industry and its interests. “UK companies are leaders in the offshore oil and gas technologies amid a growing partnership. Now we want to ensure that these technologies are utilized in the best way for the oil and gas industry in Brazil,” Osborne said.
Francisco Itzaina, Rolls-Royce Regional Director for South America said in a statement that Rolls-Royce is committed to developing Brazil’s energy sector. “This latest facility enables us to more closely support our marine customers’ investment and operational needs as they contribute to the development of Brazil’s deep-water oil and gas exploration and production activities,” he said in a statement.
This is the second investment Rolls-Royce has made in Brazil this year. In March, the company opened an expensive customer training center, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, which is the first of its kind in South America and only the fourth center the company has opened outside the UK. Though known around the world for its high-end cars, Rolls-Royce is also an established airplane engine manufacturer in Brazil.
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