Brazil Petrobras Signs Contracts To Lease Six Panamax Tankers

RIO DE JANEIRO -(Dow Jones)- Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras, said late Friday that it had signed a contract to lease six Panamax class tankers, the final lot of a 39-ship fleet expansion.

The ships were ordered under a program called EBN2, which was designed to boost shipbuilding in Latin America’s largest country by tendering ships to be constructed in Brazil. The six vessels will be built by Brazilian firms at shipyards established in Brazil.

Five of the ships will transport so-called clear derivative products such as gasoline and diesel, while one of the ships will be a crude oil carrier, Petrobras said. The vessels will be leased from Hidrovia South American Logistics SA.

The EBN program included two phases that totaled 39 vessels, Petrobras said. The ships will be delivered over the next seven years.

-By Jeff Flick, Dow Jones Newswires