Brazilian energy company Petrobras has agreed to charter 12 of its 19 vessels under a new programme.

The Empresas Brasileiras de Navegação (EBN) programme involves the chartering of vessels, built by Brazilian companies in national shipyards, for 15 years. Under the programme, the participating vessels will sail under the Brazilian flag throughout the term of the contract.

The contract of the remaining seven vessels, four of 30,000dwt and three of 45,000dwt, have not yet been approved.

The EBN programme is part of a set of initiatives Petrobras has undertaken to drive naval construction in Brazil.