Flavio Andrade talks about energy transition in maritime support navigation at seminar in Rio

On April 30, Flavio Andrade, OceanPact’s CEO, took part in the “International Seminar on the Energy Transition at Sea: Challenges and Opportunities for Brazil,” held in Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian development bank (BNDES), private university Fundação Getulio Vargas and the Brazilian Navy. The event brought together representatives of government, business and academia to lay the foundations for the construction of a National Plan for the Energy Transition at Sea, including guidelines to support new public policies and regulatory frameworks.

Andrade emphasized the importance of maritime support vessels for the oil and gas industry and highlighted the rapid growth of the Brazilian fleet to keep up with the sector’s demands, from around 100 vessels in 2010 to 372 vessels in 2024, out of a total of 435 vessels operating in Brazil, according to data from the Brazilian Association of Maritime Support Companies (ABEAM).

Discussing Petrobras’ new tenders for building vessels in Brazil, Andrade noted that the vessels built in the previous fleet renewal programs have not yet paid for themselves, and that daily rates still need to recover to make new construction projects viable.

Regarding the challenge of identifying alternatives to diesel oil to power maritime support vessels, he said that issues such as safety on board and autonomy are complicating factors when it comes to ammonia or ethanol, while hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) is immediately applicable.

He stressed the importance of neutralizing emissions with blue carbon, by reforesting mangroves, as an example of the energy transition at sea, complemented with options for cutting emissions by using more autonomous boats, gliders and even remotely operated sailboats. He also presented the results of an OceanPact pilot project to install sails on a ship used to combat offshore oil spills.

Andrade spoke on a panel alongside Mauricio Tolmasquim of Petrobras, Arnaldo Calbucci of Wilson Sons and Raul Portela of Equinor. The moderator was Lilian Schaefer, executive vice president of ABEAM.