An Irish Civil Engineering professional's perspective from Brazil

Posts tagged ‘infrastructure’

WFO activity in Brazil

Some recent developments in relation to the improvements currently taking place in the health system and its infrastructure in Brazil.

The World Family Organisation is planning to build a few hospitals in Brazil over the next five years.

The WFO is currently constructing a much-needed regional hospital in the city of Biguaçu in state of Santa Catarina.

Dr. Deisi Kusztra (President of the World Family Organization) acompanying Raimundo Columbo (governor of Santa Catarina) during an inspection of construction work at Biguaçu Regional Hospital on February 4, 2011.

For more on this project, plese visit the WFO News Archives at the following link: Training in Biguaçu Municipality – SC

The same NGO has already built one hospital (in 2008) in the larger city of Balneário Camboriú in Santa Catarina.

Whilst Brazil can proudly boast one of the best public health systems in the world, it is only true on paper.

Coping with a population of nearly 200 million makes SUS (Universal Health System) painstakingly beaurocratic and at times completely ineffective.

However with continued investment, as the current Government is hoping and working towards, there will be a substantial improvement in the efficiency and standards which have hampered Brazil’s social progress (and consequently economic progress also).

Recent offshore Oil and Gas developments in Brazil

Recently, there have been a few tell-tale signs that the Oil & Gas industry in Brazil, is not far from realising its potential.

Firstly,

Hermod completes Peregrino heavy lift.

Statoil has completed a heavy lift of two wellhead platforms on the Peregrino field offshore Brazil using the vessel Hermod. The development is the group’s largest offshore project outside the Norwegian continental shelf.

Hook-up and completion are under way. The company plans to begin 30 horizontal production and seven water injection wells later this year.

The field’s FPSO is scheduled to arrive for hook up and commissioning in the coming months. Maersk is constructing the vessel at the Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. The FPSO’s mooring systems are in place following an installation program by the offshore construction vessel Boa Deep earlier this year.

Peregrino is 85 km (53 mi) off the coast of Brazil in a water depth of up to 100 m (328 ft). First oil is anticipated in 2011 and will continue up to 2040, Statoil says.

Sevan Driller arrives in Brazil.

The Sevan Driller arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, March 27, says Sevan Marine. The ultra deepwater drilling unit will undergo custom clearance and acceptance testing by Petrobras before beginning operations under a six-year contract.

Petrobras downgrades project portfolio for 2011-2014.

Petrobras has decreased its project portfolio investment for 2011-2014 from $148 billion to $139 billion.

The company’s board has approved $257 billion worth of projects for after 2014. According to the company, the investments aim to increase oil and natural gas production, taking advantage of success in the post- and pre-salt, and exploratory activities.

The E&P project portfolio includes construction of production platforms and drilling rigs, support vessels, and investments in transportation infrastructure.

Brazil plans High-Speed Rail

As I previously mentioned on this blog, there are plans for a high-speed (circa 350kph) rail service to be in place for the upcoming World events in Brazil (2014 & 2016). Stretching for just over 500km, it will link the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including stops at their respective international airports. Construction costs are estimated in the area of $19 billion (circa €14 billion, or circa R$34 billion).

high-speed-rail

There is no national rail network in Brazil today, however there was a limited rail route around some major port cities a century ago. This network is now used to a certain amount for freight transport. Now to start a modern rail network is no small feat, without even having a widespread existing (if outdated) national network. Especially considering that Brazil is such a huge country (fifth largest in the world), and has a population of circa 192 million people (also fifth largest in world).

I have to say, I admire the aspirations that Brazil is pursuing. This is an example of how Brazil is affirming itself on the international stage, through it’s forward-looking investment and a determined positive attitude. In my opinion, many countries could learn much from the approach Brazil demonstrates in this respect.

The proposed high-speed train line will be operating in a corridor which contains the most populous areas in the whole country. It is estimated that circa 18.75% of the Brazilian population reside in this future rail corridor. This area of Brazil also accounts for generating a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The latest industry rumours suggest that it may not reach completion before Brazil hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup. More than likely it will now only be operational by the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A Different Pace

Downtown of Florianópolis City,Capital of Sant...

Image via Wikipedia

It should be noted for those unaware of it, that many things in Brazil happen at a different pace than in Ireland and Europe. Some things at a much more relaxed and steady pace, others at startling speed. It really can vary from place to place also.

For instance, where I am based in Santa Catarina, there is a road in need of repair for quite a few years now (apparently). It’s only a minor road mind, exactly the same as you might find in Ireland (asphalt overdue a refurbishment). However, nearby a six storey building has risen from basement to roof, in the space of a few weeks.

Obviously, there is a discrepancy between the public and private sectors in terms of project speed. Which of course is true for many countries (Ireland included). As each sector has its own priorities and budget parameters respectively. This is just an example to illustrate other scenarios which I have witnessed and experienced, during my time in Brazil.

So take heed when you are told that things are different here… but don’t see this as a negative aspect, it’s quite the opposite.

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