Fast4Ward FPSO design; Source: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore gets financing from 13 banks for largest Brazil-bound FPSO

Dutch FPSO operator SBM Offshore has completed the project financing of an FPSO, which is destined to work at the Búzios field off Brazil, for a total of $1.63 billion, secured by a consortium of 13 international banks. This will be the largest oil-producing unit operating offshore Brazil and one of the largest in the world, based on previous data. The FPSO will work for Petrobras.

Fast4Ward FPSO design; Source: SBM Offshore

Following a binding Letter of Intent from February 2021, SBM Offshore signed contracts with Petrobras for the 26.25 years lease and operation of FPSO Almirante Tamandaré in July 2021. The firm got a $635 million bridge loan facility for the financing of the construction of the FPSO in September 2021. Come January 2022, the company sold a minority stake in the FPSO to two Japanese companies.

In an update on Friday, 31 March 2023, SBM Offshore disclosed that it had signed the project financing of the FPSO Almirante Tamandaré for a total of $1.63 billion, provided by a consortium of 13 international banks with insurance cover from 4 international Export Credit Agencies (ECA). According to the company, the financing is composed of five separate facilities with around 6.3 per cent weighted average cost of debt and a 14-year post-completion maturity for both the ECA-covered facilities and the uncovered facility.

Furthermore, the FPSO’s design incorporates SBM Offshore’s Fast4Ward new build, multi-purpose hull, which was nearing completion at the yard in February 2023 while topsides fabrication was progressing along the way. According to SBM Offshore, this FPSO will be the largest oil-producing unit in Brazil with a processing capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil and 12 million m3 of gas per day. 

The FPSO will have an estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity below 10 kgCO2e/boe and will benefit from emission reduction technologies, such as the closed flare technology, which increases gas utilisation, preventing it from being burnt into the atmosphere. The first oil is scheduled for 2024, as planned.

The FPSO Almirante Tamandaré, which is owned and operated by a special purpose company owned by affiliated companies of SBM Offshore (55 per cent) and its partners (45 per cent), will be deployed at the Búzios field in the Santos Basin approximately 180 kilometres offshore Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Petrobras is operating the field in partnership with CNODC and CNOOC.

Regarding SBM Offshore’s recent activities, it is worth noting that another one of its FPSOs, which will work for ExxonMobil off Guyana upon completion, recently entered drydock at the Keppel yard in Singapore.

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This is the firm’s largest FPSO to date and will be used for ExxonMobil’s fourth development within the Stabroek block, called the Yellowtail development project.