From March 11-14th, the Polo Naval fair is taking place in Rio Grande, RS. A big Norwegian delegation attended this year´s expo – considered an important event to the maritime and shipbuilding industry in Brazil.
The southern city of Rio Grande is one of the most important naval clusters in Brazil, and the activity is currently high at the shipyards in the region. Both Engevix/Ecovix with the Estaleiro Rio Grande and the Quip shipyard are established here. Rio Grande also has a busy public port and several shipping terminals for agricultural products.
This is why Innovation Norway and Intsok organized a visit of a Norwegian delegation to the Polo Naval fair this week, and representatives from about eight different Norwegian companies were attending. The Norwegians also visited the two main shipyards in the region, and participated at the International Lounge of the expo. Consul General of Norway, Helle Klem and director of Innovation Norway, Helle Moen, both attended the different events and Moen was invited to talk about the Norwegian cluster experience at the fair.
The local Intsok adviser to Brazil, Adhemar Freire, just came back from Norway, and his expectations for the Naval Cluster Fair were high before the fair.
“The state of Rio Grande do Sul is an important naval cluster in Brazil that has attracted big shipyards and EPC companies. We hope to be able to offer Norwegian technology and innovative solutions to the industry located in the region, and want to be upfront in the development of a supply chain for this specific region”, Adhemar Freire told NBCC before leaving for Rio Grande.
The Naval Cluster Fair was created a few years ago as a response to Petrobras’ growing demands for supply vessels, platforms and oil tankers and the resumption of shipbuilding in Brazil. 250 exhibitors will be present during the 2014 edition of the fair, which takes place for the third time this year.
The event was created with the goal of discussing and promoting the challenges, innovations and opportunities in the oceanic industry, through lectures, workshops, conferences, business meetings. Shipyards, EPC contractors, authorities, operators and shipping companies, construction companies, certifying bodies and other suppliers are among the involved sectors. Most of the Norwegian participants are already established in Brazil, but matchmaking between companies from the two countries is always an important goal during events like this.
To Adhemar Freire, the Polo Naval expo is important both to the local industry in the south of Brazil and to suppliers, both Brazilian and international.
“Their ambition is to strengthen the importance of this region to the naval and offshore industries in Brazil, and the vision is to attend the great challenges and demands that Petrobras and other operators in the oil and gas market are facing, especially in the development of the pre-salt fields. Naval construction is fundamental to guarantee the success of the oil companies, and vital in the process of increasing of local content in the industry. A big number of FPSOs, support vessels and tankers are needed to reach the goals set for the future Brazilian oil and gas production. The Polo Naval expo is an ideal forum to present technologies and innovations for naval and offshore constructions, make new contacts, negotiate with the shipyards, evaluate partnerships with local companies and the cooperation with the local Oceantec Technology Park, which is under development and coordinated by The federal university of Rio Grande (FURG)”, Adhemar Freire explained.
Adhemar Freire of Intsok, Helle Moen of Innovation Norway and the rest of the Norwegian delegation were met by the mayor of Pelotas and women in traditional dresses serving traditional sweets when they arrived Monday.Most of the Norwegians arrived in Rio Grande on Monday March 10. Tuesday morning, the delegation met with and had lunch with Petrobras executives. Before lunch, they visited the important shipyard Estaleiro Rio Grande. Several Sete Brasil rigs are under construction here. A visit to the QUIP shipyard took place Tuesday afternoon.
The Norwegian delegation was present during the official opening ceremony of the Naval Cluster fair on March 12. So was the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Tarso Genro, and other officials from the industry, from universities and the government.
The delegation also spent a day in Porto Alegre before returning to Norway or to the Rio de Janeiro region, where many Norwegian companies are located. In Porto Alegre, the group will visit several Brazilian companies in the metropolitan area.
According to Intsok, the event will give the participants the opportunity to meet potential partners, the possibility to present their company’s capabilities to the management shipyards and other relevant decision-markers in the region and even give the participants a market overview of ongoing and planned activities in the region.
“Partnerships with local companies, as well as the support we have from the local authorities and agencies like AGDI and FIERGS, are fundamental when it comes to attracting international investments. It is important to be among the suppliers of reference in this market and to develop relations with the main players”, Adhemar Freire says.
INTSOK – Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners – was established in 1997 by the Norwegian oil and gas industry and the Norwegian Government. INTSOK’s objective is to work with companies throughout the industry to expand the business activities in the international oil and gas markets on the basis of the industry’s leading edge experience, technology and expertise.
Innovation Norway is the Norwegian government’s most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist