Brazil Offers $1.3 Billion in Subsidies for Shipbuilding Sector

Wilson Sons
File image courtesy Wilson Sons

Published Jan 25, 2024 11:22 PM by The Maritime Executive


In line with Brazil’s pledge to restore its offshore shipbuilding industry, the state-backed Merchant Marine Fund (MMF) has approved $1.3 billion to support local shipyards in delivering new orders and other waterways infrastructure. During this funding round, priority will be on construction of Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs), according to Brazil’s national syndicate for shipyards Sinaval

The largest proportion of the funding around $930 million will be set apart for newbuilds and vessel repair projects. Of this amount, Wilson Sons Shipyard in Guarujá will get the highest share of $853 million, aimed at supporting construction of 10 Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) for CMN Offshore Brasil. 

Another $116 million will be given to Detroit Brasil Shipyard for construction of two multipurpose PSVs, for Starnav Maritime Services, a sister company of the same yard.

An additional $34 million will also be allocated to Wilson Sons to build three Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugboats, with FIFI-1 Fire Fighting System. Marlin Servicos Ambientais will get $18 million for construction of another 12 tugboats.

The MMF also approved more than $183 million for upgrades and maintenance of vessels at major Brazilian yards.

On the campaign trail almost two years ago, Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva promised he would “reactivate the oil and gas industry” and "resume shipbuilding in the country” for job creation.

The state-owned oil giant Petrobras will help revitalize shipbuilding by awarding more contracts to local companies, mainly to dismantle old oil platforms and build OSVs. Last year, Transpetro - Petrobras’ oil transportation company - launched a program for its fleet renewal, which will see the company order 25 new vessels. The company added that its goal is to have most of the vessels be built in Brazil.

Since 2020 the Directing Council of the Merchant Marine Fund (CDFMM) has significantly increased shipbuilding subsidies. The priority of the funding has been to boost the country’s OSVs fleet.