On Monday 1 February, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras opened an office in Rotterdam. In the “Weenapoint” building, the company and CEO José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo was welcomed by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam and Minister for Foreign Trade Frank Heemskerk. Their presence underlined the importance of the developing Brazilian economy and the function Petrobras serves in this, for the Netherlands and the region of Rotterdam in particular.
The Brazilian oil company has been active in the port of Rotterdam for over two years. The company leases tanks at the ETT and Vopak terminals in the Europoort area and imports low-sulphur fuel oil from Brazil. In this (LSFO) sector, it is an important party - with 850,000 tonnes a year - for the ultimate bunker market. The Port of Rotterdam Authority estimates sales of low-sulphur bunkers at 15-20% of the total, so somewhere between 2 and 2.5 million a year.
Petrobras imports around 600,000 tonnes of product with a sulphur percentage of 0.8. Afterwards, this is blended to the maximum 1.5%, which is in accordance with the requirements of the “Northwest Europe Sulphur Emission Control Area”. To be able to offer its clients a complete package, the company has also been selling high-sulphur fuel oil since May. It purchases this HSFO locally.
Pertrobas is not involved in ethanol exports from Brazil to Europe. This could change in the future, however. Finally, the Brazilian oil company has a large, long-term lease contract for an oil production and storage vessel with SBM Offshore in Schiedam.
Sources: Port of Rotterdam Authority and Fuel Oil Monthly by Poten & Partners