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ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

September 17, 2009

New $1 billion shipyard for Brazil

Brazil's richest man, colorful entrepreneur Eike Batista, is getting into shipbuilding -- big time.

Earlier this week he signed a MOU with the Federation of Industry of Santa Catarina (FIESC) outlining plans to invest $1 billion to build a yard in Biguacu, in Santa Catarina state. It will be developed by OSX, a new company within Batista's EMX Group. All of Batista's companies have an X in the name, because it represents the multiplication of wealth in numerology--something that seems to have worked for him.
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According to Reuters, EMX has also signed an MOU for Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries to be a partner in the project, though it is unclear how large a stake it would take.

Work on the yard should begin in 2010, with the first vessels being delivered in 2011. It will be built on a 1.6 million square meter site, with the latest technology to build rigs, fixed platforms, jackets and FPSO's. According to FIESC, it is estimated that Brazil's national petroleum industry will create a $ 50 billion market for this type of equipment in the years ahead. Reuters quotes EMX Director Rodolfo Landim as saying that the yard will be the largest in Latin America and the aim is to build, operate and charter equipment mainly for OGX," the EMX Group's offshore exploration arm.

The yard will generate about four thousand new direct jobs. The choice of Santa Catarina for the the project was influenced by the availability of labor--and the the fact that "in addition, the state also forms part of the pre-salt."


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