Petrobras on Monday kicked-off the construction work for the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj). The ceremony, which marked the beginning of the earthwork, was attended by the President of the Republic, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Itaborai. The installation permit for this first phase of the project was issued by the Feema (the Rio de Janeiro environmental agency) March 28. The earthwork stage is expected to be wrapped-up in the first half of 2009, and to generate more than 2,000 direct jobs.
With costs estimated at some R$820 million, the earthwork will move approximately 45 million cubic meters of earth at the Comperj, equivalent to 12 Maracana stadiums full of earth, and mobilize upwards of 600 devices. This stage of the work will take 440 consecutive days to be completed.
The environmental permit granted to the Comperj was considered as innovative, as it allied extreme environmental strictness and complexity without incurring in any delay in the delivery deadline. The studies, followed-up on by the Feema, prioritized water reuse, atmospheric emissions reductions, and residue minimization. The civil society participated in the process via public hearings that brought 3,600 people together in the towns of Itaborai, Guapimirim, Cachoeiras de Macacu, and Sao Goncalo.
The Comperj marks the Petrobras' return to the petrochemical sector, and will transform the socioeconomic profile of its region of influence. Expected to go online in 2012, with capacity to process 150,000 barrels of heavy oil from Marlim per day, the project will generate savings of more than $2 billion per year in foreign exchange by reducing oil derivate and petrochemical product imports.
With investments in the order of $8.4 billion, it is estimated the Comperj will generate more than 200,000 direct, indirect, and "income effect" jobs during the five years of construction and after the plant goes into operation, all of which on the national scale. To meet this demand, Petrobras, in partnership with the city halls, will qualify some 30,000 professionals in the region.
Comperj market data and numbers:
- The complex will be capable of processing 150,000 barrels of domestic heavy oil per day.
- At a same industrial plant, there will be a refining and first generation unit (Basic Petrochemical Unit - BPU) to produce basic petrochemicals, in addition to a set of second generation units (Associated Petrochemical Units - APUs) that will turn these basic products into petrochemical products. There will also be a Utility Central (UTIL) that will be in charge of supplying the water, steam, and power required for the complex's entire operation.
- Basic petrochemicals (1st generation): ethene (1.3 million tons/year), propane (880,000 tons/year), benzene (600,000 tons/year), paraxylene (700,000 tons/year), and butadiene (157,000 tons/year);
- 2nd generation petrochemicals: styrene (500,000 tons/year), ethylene glycol (600,000 tons/year), polyethylene (800,000 tons/year), polypropylene (850,000 tons/year), and PTA/PET (500,000/600,000 tons/year).
- 3rd generation companies, which may be attracted by the complex and also install operations in the neighboring municipalities and along the Highway Arch that will connect Itaborai to the Itaguai Port, will be in charge of turning these 2nd generation petrochemical products into consumption goods, such as plastic cups and bags, components for the auto industry and for the white line, such as appliances and other products.
The Comperj Integration Center will qualify some 30,000 professionals
The Comperj Integration Center is in the Mobilization Program for the National Oil & Natural Gas Mobilization Program (Prominp) and is aimed at qualifying and training local labor to help deploy the Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex.
Petrobras, in partnership with the city halls, will deploy Integration Centers in all municipalities that neighbor the Petrochemical Complex (Itaborai, Sao Goncalo, Cachoeiras de Macacu, Casimiro de Abreu, Guapimirim, Niteroi, Marica, Mage, Rio Bonito, Silva Jardim, and Tangua) and admission will take place via a live process.
Some 30,000 professionals will be qualified in upwards of 60 types of free courses, 78% of which on the basic level, 21% on the technical level, and 1% at the college level. The courses will be divided into five annual cycles.
The 1st Comperj Integration Center's Professional Qualification Cycle was commenced in May 2007, offering courses in the Civil Construction area. So far, 480 students have been qualified, while anther thousand are still taking classes.
The 2nd Comperj Integration Center's Professional Qualification Cycle is scheduled to begin in May 2008, offering 5,000 openings to be divided into 29 categories, of which 89% on the basic level, 9% on the technical level, and 2% on the college level.
The target public and the class contents and schedule are part of the Professional Qualification Plan, which will be updated periodically to make sure the Comperj Integration Center is aligned with regional needs.
The professionals the Integration Center trains will be entered in a database of candidates for jobs at the Comperj and at the companies that will be attracted to the region. More than 20 students have already been hired to work in the Integration Center's construction work in Sao Goncalo.
The goal is to turn the Integration Center into an important local articulator, which will contribute to social and industrial development in the Comperj's area of influence.
Comperj Ecological Corridor
Launched on June 05 2007, the World Environment Day, the Ecological Corridor is a Petrobras project developed in partnership with Embrapa and other partners that proposes to connect the mangrove to the Atlantic Forest through an extensive area replanted by the Comperj. The idea is to qualify 400 people from the community in half-year courses on silviculture practices, in addition to in handcrafts. The classes were kicked-off late last year, and the idea is to use these plant nursery specialists in corridor deployment and maintenance activities. The Rio de Janeiro Federal Rural University (UFRRJ) prepares projects to recover degraded areas near the Comperj.
In total, 2,500 seedlings of some 30 different tree species were planted at the Fazenda do Viveiro, in Sambaetiba, one of the first properties Petrobras negotiated in the project's area. This was but the first lot of a total of 3,600,000 seedlings that will be part of the Ecological Corridor.
Water reuse system without precedents in Brazil
The Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex (Comperj) will count on a unit to treat sanitary sewer, industrial effluents, rain water, and acid water. Once purified, this water will be reused countless times in the complex itself, instead of being discharged into the rivers. Comperj's effluent system is unprecedented in Brazil on account of its scale and efficiency. Reuse will not only be complete because a little less than 10% of the water, although this does not represent any hazard to the environment, ends up going salty.
Water for the construction work and for the community
Seeking to enhance the treated water production of the Itaborai municipality's supply system, Petrobras signed, on March 14, an agreement with the Companhia Estadual de Aguas e Esgotos (Cedae, the State Water and Sewer Company), with investments foreseen at R$30 million. This agreement will boost the Imunana-Laranjal system and supply an additional 100 liters/second, 50 liters/second for the Comperj construction work, while the other 50 liters/second to the Porto das Caixas community, in the Itaborai District, near the Complex. After the work has been concluded, Petrobras will also divert its 50 liters/second to supply the population. As a result, the entire increase of 100 liters/second will be directed to the community.