Saipem barred from public contracts with Brazil for two years

Italian offshore engineering and construction giant Saipem has been suspended from signing new contracts with the Brazilian public administration for two years following a probe into alleged irregularities surrounding a deal signed with Petrobras in 2011.

The Milan-listed player said the Brazilian Controladoria-Geral da União (CGU) ruled against Saipem and its Brazilian subsidiary, Saipem do Brasil, concerning the award by the BM-S-11 consortium of the contract for installing a gas pipeline.

The $140m contract in December 2011 was reportedly secured after a former Saipem commercial representative bribed an ex-Petrobras director.

Saipem noted that the CGU had amended its previous decision issued in December 2022 which consisted in the ban on contracting with the Brazilian government and substituted it with now more than a two-year temporary suspension.

“The sanction has no impacts on the company’s ongoing projects in Brazil since it applies solely to potential new contracts and concerns exclusively dealings with the public administration,” Saipem added. In November, the company won a contract from Norway’s Equinor for the Raia project, the development of a pre-salt gas and condensate field in the Campos Basin, located about 200 km offshore the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Saipem, which boasts eight fabrication yards and an offshore fleet of 23 construction vessels and 15 drilling rigs, said it plans to appeal the decision.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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