Within only five years a wild expanse of beach has been transformed into a world-class fabrication and integration yard and a thriving hub for a community. Angola is the newest player in pre-salt oil and gas exploration. Porto Amboim Estaleiros Navais – known as Paenal – is set to play a part in the country’s future development. Paenel already enjoys international recognition in the industry thanks to its fast-track achievements.


The Yard’s Origins

Strategically close to offshore pre-salt oil discoveries, the inauguration of the Paenal shipyard in 2008 ensures an ideal base for deepwater exploration in West Africa as well as creating for Angola an offshore services capability and ensuring prosperity for local people.

Back in 2007, SBM and its partner Sonangol, Angola’s National Oil & Gas company had a vision: to create a state-of-the-art offshore fabrication yard in Angola. Its successful realisation and the positive effect it has on the country’s oil and gas industry as well on the local community is clear and is an example of how sustainable development can work. Along with the support of both partners in the yard Sonangol and DSME (a partner since 2010), SBM continues to strive to develop the yard’s full potential and to grow its personnel.


One key issue was providing employment for local people following over 35 years of civil war. Finding the required skilled workers locally who met international standards required initiative and investment by SBM. Applying the same successful formula in Angola as it did in Brazil, talented personnel who lacked experience were trained on-site by SBM personnel. In parallel with construction of the yard, a dedicated training school was established in Porto Amboim for employees. To date over 600 workers have received training to ensure they meet the international standard.



Today the yard is capable of producing up to 10,000 tonnes of modules per year, which represents approximately two million man-hours per annum. Last year’s addition of the Heavy Lift crane has further transformed Paenal yard’s capacities and filled a gap in the regional market. Combined with Paenal’s 490-metres, purpose-built quayside, the yard is fully commissioned and can accommodate the fabrication and installation of topsides into mega FPSOs.


OPS is a 50:50 joint venture between SBM and Sonangol with over ten years of experience in operating FPSOs for Sonasing (a JV between SBM, Sonangol and Angolan Services). The latest vessel to join the fleet in Angola was N’Goma FPSO in July 2014.


Angola: Today SBM Offshore employs almost 500 people in its Angolan operations and has been established in the country since 1997. At its peak, Paenal yard was the biggest employer in the region with a workforce of over 1,200 employees (over 85% Angolan nationals).

N’Goma FPSO at Paenal shipyard in Angola

N’Goma FPSO at Paenal shipyard in Angola


SBM Offshore’s other shipyard – Estaleiro Brasa – ideally located in Niteroi on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, serves the expanding Brazilian offshore industry and has been fully operational since 2012.

The Brazilian government is strategically steering the international oil companies and oil and gas service providers in a direction that will be beneficial to the country, in regards to local content and the environment.

The Brasa yard is an excellent example of the way forward and demonstrates how service providers are planning to benefit from and contribute to this growth. A joint venture with Synergy Group, the yard ensures that SBM Offshore fulfills its local content quota and with an environmental strategy in place from the yard’s development plan since its inception, the Brazilian yard has a solid foundation for future operations in the country.

Oil and gas clients in Brazil, specifically Petrobras, recognise the yard’s importance in bringing their projects to fruition to the highest industry standards while equally ensuring a sustainable approach.

In 2016 the yard successfully completed the fabrication and integration of modules for two high capacity FPSOs that the national oil operator Petrobras contracted from SBM Offshore.


SBM Offshore performed the first socio-economic impact assessment in 2014. The assessment included the construction activities at the Brasa yard, the project execution at the office in Rio de Janeiro and the operations of the fleet of SBM Offshore FPSOs offshore Brazil.

The assessment is based on an internationally recognised methodology that distinguishes between:

Direct impacts: Referring to all impacts directly controlled such as job hires, salaries and taxes paid, purchasing of raw materials, supplies and subcontracting, and goods and services produced.
Indirect impacts: SBM’s purchases, in turn, create demand for its suppliers and subcontractors to purchase other goods and services from their own suppliers, stimulating other economic sectors of the supply chain. These indirect impacts will also generate wages and jobs in other economic sectors.
Induced impacts: Income generated through payroll by: SBM, its suppliers, its subcontractors, and other companies in the supply chain, increasing household consumption. This consumption creates increases in production and thus employment in other economic sectors, constituting what is commonly called induced impacts on employment.

facts-jobs in Brazil

SBM believes in doing business that benefits our clients, our employees, our shareholders and society in general. Many of our locations are in economies which impose local content requirements to ensure local job creation, skill development and enterprise creation.

Our intention is to contribute to local and national development beyond these local content requirements. With this in mind, SBM commissioned a Social Impact assessment to better understand the dynamics of value creation of our activities, how these contribute to employment and earnings in the value chain and to economic activity in the Brazilian economy in general. The results demonstrate that our strategy is working and they will also help us to better focus our activities towards meaningful contribution to economic development.

Brasa yard Brazil joint venture between SBM Offshore and Naval Ventures Corp.

Brasa yard Brazil joint venture between SBM Offshore & Synergy Group