SAO PAULO, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian shipbuilder Engevix Construcoes Oceanicas (Ecovix) is expected to file for bankruptcy protection from creditors in a local court this month, the newspaper Valor Economico said on Wednesday.
The company, based in Rio de Janeiro, has more than 6 billion reais ($1.7 billion) in outstanding debts, according to Valor.
Ecovix did not immediately respond to requests for comment made via phone and email.
According to Valor, Ecovix's creditors include state-run oil company Petrobras, suppliers, China's Cosco, Norway's NOV and also local banks Bradesco, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Economica Federal.
The company's expected request for protection from creditors is intended to give it room to negotiate a debt restructuring and the sale of company assets to new investors, the paper said.
Ecovix's controlling shareholders and holding company, Jackson Empreendimentos, are expected to take most of the shipbuilder's assets and regroup them into a new company free of debts, Valor said.
This is expected to protect future investors from legal claims of creditors so that the new company can be sold off, the newspaper added. (Reporting by Reese Ewing Editing by W Simon)