Petrobras charters first hybrid vessel, with AHTS tender bids on horizon

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras has agreed to contract its first anchor-handling tug supply vessel equipped with hybrid propulsion, as it also looks ahead to receiving nids later this month for several AHTSs.

The new hybrid charter, due to begin in October 2023, was signed with local player Bram Offshore for the Mr Chafic vessel to carry out maritime cargo transport operations for Petrobras.

It also forms part of the Brazilian oil giant’s drive to decarbonise its oil and gas activities and modernise its offshore support vessel fleet.

The AHTS will be the first in Petrobras’ fleet to run on hybrid propulsion with batteries installed on board the vessel. The changes will be implemented by October 2024 and are expected to result in an emissions reduction of 15%

“Petrobras promotes one of the largest offshore logistics operations in the world. We will continue to invest in innovative initiatives that position Petrobras as the best energy company when it comes to value generation,” said Petrobras logistics and commercialisation director Claudio Schlosser.

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Through the integration between the hybrid technology and the propulsion system, the batteries will help the main engines, providing a reduction in fuel consumption while allowing the AHTS to operate more efficiently and saving resources.

On top of chartering the vessel, Petrobras has also issued a tender to contract several AHTSs, with commercial bids scheduled for 27 July.

According to well-informed industry sources, Petrobras has split the tender into six lots and 32 subcategories ranging from Brazilian-flagged to foreign-flagged units, to requirements for low, medium and high capacity vessels.

Some of the vessels sought by Petrobras are AHTS-R type, which are equipped to perform technical services with remotely operated vehicles.

Petrobras is offering four-year contracts for AHTSs in lots A, B and C, and three-year charters for vessels in lots D, E and F.

The delivery timeline is as follow: February 2024 for vessels in Lot A, March 2024 in Lot D, June 2024 in Lot B, December 2024 in Lot E, February 2025 in Lot C and April 2025 in Lot F.