Minister to pitch floating offshore platform project to Brazil

Kyodo

The government has decided to make a stronger pitch to Brazil on building a large offshore “logistic hub” that would help it further develop oil fields and other marine resources.

Tokyo views the envisioned hub, worth more than ¥50 billion, as part of infrastructure exports vital to Japan’s economic growth strategy, a government source said Friday.

Trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi will pitch Japanese-made offshore facilities when he visits Brasilia on May 2, the source said.

According to the infrastructure and trade ministries, the hub would float in the South Atlantic about 200 km off Rio de Janeiro. It would be situated midway between the coast and offshore oil drilling rigs, and would serve as a heliport and as a transportation node for workers at the drilling site.

Japanese officials say the hub would substantially cut expenses compared with the current setup, in which helicopters transport workers and items from land to offshore facilities several hundred kilometers away.

Companies including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. have been looking into the hub since February. It would measure around 320 meters long and 80 meters wide.

The government will provide about ¥1 billion in assistance and aim to secure orders for the hub around 2014.