RIO DE JANEIRO, May 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras will use offshore docks operated by U.S. ship-leasing company Edison Chouest to handle oil-service vessels at the Brazilian Port of Açu, the head of the company that owns the port said on Wednesday.
The decision to use the Edison Chouest facilities at Açu will help Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the oil company is formally known, to ease crowding at its main offshore service docks in Macaé, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Açu on the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.
The agreement with Edison Chouest was signed three months ago and is going ahead despite opposition from the city of Macaé, said Eduardo Parente, chief executive of Prumo Logística SA, which owns the port of Açu. No value for the deal was released.
Macaé officials fear losing jobs to Açu after falling oil prices and a corruption scandal at Petrobras led to thousands of layoffs in recent months at Schlumberger NV and other oil service companies that operate in the city.
Macaé officials managed to win a temporary injunction against the Petrobras tender process that led to the deal with Galliano, Louisiana-based Edison Chouest, which operates a fleet of more than 200 anchor-boats, supply vessels, spill response ships and other offshore equipment.
Prumo, formerly known as LLX Logística, is controlled by Washington-based EIG Energy Partners, which bought the company and its Açu port project from Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista in 2013 as Batista’s EBX energy, oil, shipbuilding and port-operation group collapsed.
Parente also said on Wednesday that Prumo expects to announce an agreement this year to build a thermal power plant at Açu. The company already has an agreement with Bolognesi Energia to evaluate opportunities to invest in a natural-gas-fired power plant at the port. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Peter Galloway)