Brazil is a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources and favorable demographics, the combination of which should result in rapid growth in the coming decades. A contributing factor will be the development of large reserves of oil and gas recently discovered offshore. However, the government realizes that exporting agricultural products and commodities will not lift Brazil’s global GDP/capita ranking (105th in 2013) to the level expected by a growing middle class. More of the value chain from commodity to finished goods will have to be retained in-country.
In 2011, Dresser-Rand was awarded a contract by a Petrobras-led consortium for 80 DATUM compressor trains to be installed on eight floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in Brazil’s Pre-Salt fields. Consistent with the government’s strategic desire to substitute local supply for finished imports, the contract with Petrobras included significant commitments for local content. In fact, Brazil is far from alone in promoting such an initiative, and Dresser-Rand has anticipated this development for some years.
“Understanding the importance of providing our client with nearby support and local content requirements under the Brazilian contract, we quickly began constructing the Santa Bárbara d’Oeste facility in the State of São Paulo, Brazil,” said Ricardo Melo, Project Development Manager for New Equipment. By early 2013, construction of the $25 million facility was complete and its opening was celebrated.
The Sánta Bárbara facility houses a world-class technology center with the unique capacity to meet the needs of the project, along with a service center and a field services unit under the same roof. The facility has the capability to package more than 30 turbo-compressor trains per year. This massive undertaking, concurrent with the packaging of the first units to meet an aggressive contract schedule, has fostered a can-do, collaborative, flexible culture among the Santa Bárbara facility workforce.
While the Sánta Bárbara facility was built to execute the Pre-Salt contract, the vision extends far beyond that – it will be Dresser-Rand’s base in Brazil for all products and services. In addition to gas turbine and turbo-compressor packaging, we are exploring localizing other products at the facility.
While Sánta Bárbara is primarily dedicated to serving Brazil’s domestic market, there will be export opportunities to other South American countries that are part of the Mercosul regional trade bloc.
Localization also extends to our Services organization. We are leveraging capacity and capabilities to position Santa Bárbara as a repair, service and technical support hub for all of Latin America. Our people also support Dresser-Rand units in the Middle East and Asia.
What really make this facility unique, however, are its people. Nearly 200 professionals are employed at the facility, but they don’t simply just work there. They are part of a proud team that is dedicated and committed to the localization efforts in Brazil, as well as to the growth of Dresser-Rand as a whole. The positive attitude was recently recognized by Valor Carreira magazine and AON Hewitt, who awarded Dresser-Rand Sánta Bárbara 4th place among all companies surveyed having less than 500 employees. The scoring was based on surveys of employees on more than a dozen factors to measure engagement and satisfaction.
To date, we have met or exceeded the local content requirements for packages delivered as required by the Brazilian Government and regulated by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). The Santa Bárbara facility is in a prime location, not only because of its logistics (near the best roads and cargo airport in the country), but it is also close to excellent universities and technical schools, which can provide many qualified, local people to the D-R Santa Bárbara team. We have hired and trained 120 local employees, including highly-skilled engineers and the facility management. Their training was led by an international team of Dresser-Rand subject matter experts.
Sao Paulo State is Brazil’s industrial heartland. Santa Bárbara’s central location provides ready access to a large pool of suppliers. “Our extensive efforts to develop local suppliers helped us meet the 50 percent local content requirement and has also positioned Dresser-Rand as an area partner, committed to strengthening the local Brazilian economy,” said Joseli Rocha, Import & Export Senior Analyst, Supply Chain.
A Year of Milestones
Open now for a little more than a year, the Santa Bárbara facility has already met many milestones. The facility completed its first year of operations with zero recordable safety incidents and achieved ISO 9001 quality certification. Local managers and leaders are committed to developing a strong safety culture from top to bottom by implementing action plans to improve safety initiatives, establish valid measures to gauge the effectiveness of these plans and provide safety training and education to frontline staff, managers, technicians, and organizational leaders.
In June 2014, the D-R Santa Bárbara facility successfully accomplished a string test of a CO2 service gas turbine-driven compressor train (the first done in Brazil), demonstrating the collaborative and hardworking culture of the Santa Bárbara employees and its clients.
This year, the Dresser-Rand service center in Campinas was relocated 25 miles (40 km) to the Santa Bárbara facility, but further expanded and localized its service capability into a newly purchased facility in Macaé, Brazil. This enables us to provide an operation and maintenance footprint near recently-commissioned offshore compression trains, such as those operating on the Petrobras P-55 platform. The new facility was completely overhauled, taking into consideration the opinions and suggestions from the entire team. Anyone who visits the new facility will see the employees’ connection and dedication to this new venture.
The D-R Macaé offshore team is a highly-trained, experienced group capable of performing services for clients with resourcefulness and commitment. The onshore support team provides services ranging from technical procedures and support, to consumable materials and parts. Furthermore, a specialist team highly-involved with machine performance and maintenance control is dedicated to observing all equipment systems to recognize and neutralize any issues before they arise.
Health, safety and environmental practices are a constant focus of the operation. Keeping employees safe is a priority shared by each member of the Macaé facility team.
At Dresser-Rand we are always striving to provide a competitive advantage to our clients with strategic arrangements in appropriate countries, by establishing new locations, expanding our existing locations, and relocating facilities as necessary. Our Santa Bárbara D’Oeste and Macaé facilities allow us to do just that for clients in South America.
By being where our clients are, we are able to provide them with better and quicker service ensuring that we meet all contractual requirements while keeping our clients, our employees and the local citizens happy and healthy.