The Korean fishing group Insung signed this week an letter of intent with a Brazilian consortium for the construction of a ship yard in the Rio Grande/Pelotas area , state of Rio Grande do Sul, which could cater to the Korean fishing vessels operating in the “Falklands/Malvinas” area.
The information was provided to local media by the press office from Rio Grande do Sul Governor Tarso Genro who is currently on an official business visit to Korea to promote trade and investment in his state, just north of Uruguay.
The yard would be used for maintenance and repair of fishing vessels, particularly those belonging to Insug, one of Korea’s leading fishing industry groups which operate in all oceans including the South Atlantic and Antarctica. Apparently an estimated 25 Korean vessels operate in “the region of Malvinas”.
The deal according to the governor’s office was being discussed since February and the letter of intent was signed this week following an investment opportunities seminar organized by the Brazilian delegation in Korea.
The protocol was signed by Governor Genro, as witness as well as by Paulo Tigre president of the Industries federation from Rio Grande do Sul and federal Deputy for the state, Alexander Lindenmeyer.
Once the environmental impact assessments are presented and approved the construction of the shipyard is expected to take off, and should be fully operational towards the end of the first half of 2012, says the report.
The Insung shipyard is part of Rio Grande do Sul’s investment promotion in the naval industry considered one of the crucial area for the state’s development taking advantage of the huge offshore hydrocarbons activities forecasted once Brazil begins the full exploitation of its massive sub-salt oil reserves.
Precisely governor Genro also anticipated that the Hyundai car manufacturing group has expressed interest in investing in the expansion of the port of Rio Grande since the company needs modern terminals for its fleet of 140 vessels that sail round the world delivering vehicles.
“Making port activities quicker and more efficient in a first stage and later expanding facilities are among the interest expressed by Korean groups”, according to Governor Genro’s office release.
“In two weeks time the state government and FIERGS, the Federation of Industries will provide Hyundai with abundant information of Rio Grande’s port turnover and will be receiving a technical report from Hyundai describing its interests. The Hyundai board is expected in Porto Alegre for a meeting with the Governor and his cabinet”.
Governor Genro said there was no intention of changing the port’s charter or legal framework but rather add investors to the projected expansion. “At the same time the Koreans are requesting information on the port, they are generating their own demand for the port”, said governor Genro who underlined that Rio Grande has all the conditions to become the leading Mercosur port.
Two other large Korean groups are interested in developing a naval industry pole in Rio Grande, in line with Petrobras oil and gas growing offshore activities in the region.
“Daewoo and Samsung are interested and have arranged to send technical delegations to Rio Grande do Sul to assess possibilities and investments. Then later we will show them we have the conditions to organize together with FIERGS and our technical schools and engineering schools a significant supply of trained staff and trades people in line with their technological level of development”, Governor Genro was quoted.
A delegation from the Korean groups is expected in Rio Grande some time in the next two months. Korean shipyards build 40% of the world’s vessels and oil and gas exploration rigs.