OSX Brasil has secured a loan of BRL2.7bn ($1.3bn) from Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) and Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) through Brazil’s Merchant Marine Fund (FMM) to complete construction of its Açu Shipbuilding Unit (UCN Açu).

The loan has been provided in two equal tranches of BRL1.35bn ($664m) from state-run banks Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) and Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) under a deal with OSX Construção Naval, a subsidiary of OSX Brasil.

The loans will be used to complete OSX’s shipyard at the Açu port complex in northeastern Rio de Janeiro state, which is under construction since July 2011.

FMM’s board of directors had approved the loan for OSX in June 2011. It has a tenure of 21 years, with a 42/36-month grace period for paying back of principal and 36/30-month grace period for payment of interest to BNDES and CEF, respectively.

OSX Construcao Naval currently has orders for 16 vessels for offshore oil and natural gas production.

OSX chairman of the board of directors Eike Batista said that the Açu Shipbuilding Unit will construct vessels for the development of oil and gas production in Brazil.

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By GlobalData

"The financing obtained from the Merchant Marine Fund reaffirms the strategic importance of its implementation for our country," Batista said.

UCN Açu, which is a fifth generation shipyard with technology provided by partner Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), is scheduled to start partial operations in the first quarter of next year.

The company said that the yard’s 2,400m quay is expandable up to 3,525m and could feature up to 11 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units simultaneously.

Located in the Açu Superport Industrial Complex, UCN Açu is positioned about 150km from the Campos Basin, which is responsible for around 85% of Brazilian oil production.