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Brazilian consortium Estaleiro Rio Tiete has won a 239mn-real (US$140mn) tender to build a waterway fleet to transport ethanol for Transpetro, the transport division of state-run energy group Petrobras (NYSE: PBR).
The consortium, formed of Rio Maguari, SS Administraçao and Estre Petroleo, will build a fleet of 20 barge trains that will operate in the Tiete-Parana waterway in southeastern Brazil.
The contract is scheduled to be signed in October, according to a Transpetro release.
More than 30 national and international firms were invited to participate in the bidding, with Estaleiro Rio Tiete offering the lowest price.
The runners-up were consortium Estaleiros Unidos do Rio Tiete, made up of SPI Astilleros and Superpesa Industrial, and another group comprised of Intecnial and NM Engenharia e Construçoes.
The project includes building a new shipyard alongside the waterway in Sao Paulo state's Aracatuba municipality. Construction will begin in 2011, with delivery of vessels starting in 4Q11.
A total of 20 tugboats and 80 barges will be built. Each barge train, consisting of a tugboat and four barges, will have a capacity to transport 7.6Ml of ethanol. When fully operational, the fleet's transport volume is expected to reach 4Bl/y.
The waterway project is part of the national growth acceleration plan (PAC).