Petrobras opens door for Car Wash-blacklisted trio after nearly a decade

Brazilian state-controlled oil player Petrobras has lifted a ban that had prevented three local construction groups from participating in its tenders after being blacklisted for nearly a decade following the infamous Car Wash corruption probe.

Andrade Gutierrez, UTC Engenharia and Novonor, formerly known as Odebrecht, have been blocked from bidding in Petrobras tenders for years after investigators discovered that the three were involved in a cartel of companies using bribery and kickbacks to secure Petrobras contracts.

However, the three companies were finally able to reverse the ruling and are now part of a select group that includes 31 pre-qualified contractors that are able to participate in Petrobras bidding competitions.

“The three companies applied and proved that they met the requested technical requirements,” Petrobras told Upstream.

Of the current Petrobras vendors’ list that includes 31 local and foreign companies, Novonor is part of the so-called “full category”, which allows a company to bid for any contract offered by the Brazilian oil giant.

“In addition to being registered or pre-qualified, each and every company interested in initiating, maintaining or re-establishing a relationship with Petrobras must demonstrate compliance with the Petrobras compliance programme,” the company said.

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Petrobras added companies must also commit to comply with anti-corruption laws and policies, procedures and applicable integrity rules, as well as being free from any impeding sanctions.

Petrobras took a hard line on issues of anti-corruption compliance in the aftermath of the Car Wash probe in 2014.

Among the measures created by the oil company was the role of governance and compliance director.