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Brazilian State Oil and Gas Company Petrobras Investing $224 billion

In its 2010-2014 Business Plan, Petrobras will be spending $224 billion in development of its offshore oil and gas reserves, some of the largest in the world.

The Government organisation UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has launched its High Value Opportunities programme which focuses on engineering related projects and has selected this business plan as part of the programme.

The High Value Opportunities programme includes many projects around the world where UK companies can benefit as larger contractors or as SMEs supplying products and services. The programme will provide intelligence which is not always in the public domain, match opportunities with UK capability, provide a market entry strategy and leverage opportunities. Full details of the programme are on the UKTI website under Exports/How We Can Help along with details of the projects being tracked which includes infrastructure, energy and environmental projects.

Chris Wall, a UKTI Specialist, spoke about the High Value Opportunities programme with specific reference to Brazil at a UKTI event held in Wakefield recently. Details of the opportunities are on the UKTI website where companies can register their interest in one or more of several opportunities. Chris spoke about the opportunities in Brazil and explained about the local content requirement. The Petrobras shopping list categorises opportunities as ‘local’, ‘could be local’ or ‘never local’ showing there are opportunities. He spoke about their requirements for ten FPSOs (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels) from which the UK supply chain could benefit.

Companies interested in supplying Petrobras should seek to register with Petrobras through the Petrobras website. The National Metals Technology Centre will be holding a conference in September on Global Subsea Opportunities at which Brazil will be featured.

Free Overseas Business Risk Service

The UK Trade & Investment and British Foreign & Commonwealth Office launched the Overseas Business Risk Service last year with the aim of assisting British companies, particularly those exporting to high growth and emerging markets.

With an increasingly globalised economy, more new markets are opening up to exporters. However, conditions and risks vary, and it is often difficult to assess the relative merits and challenges of different export opportunities. The aim of the Overseas Business Risk Service is to provide accurate, relevant and impartial information, to enable UK companies, especially SMEs, to be better informed and prepared, and to conduct their business more securely and successfully.

The service includes thematic market profiles for over ninety countries and it covers the major areas of risk which exporters are likely to encounter. Subjects covered include finance, fraud, bribery and corruption, organised crime, export control regulations,

due diligence, IP protection, cyber crime and terrorism. This free service can be accessed through their website at /overseasbusinessrisk.

The website is regularly updated with reports from Embassies and High Commissions based in key markets. It also offers links to other sources of specialist advice and assistance which may be useful to exporters.

The UK is set to produce 4 percent of the worlds Tungsten

The Hemerdon Mine near

Plympton in Devon is believed to contain the fourth largest deposit of tungsten in the world. This rare element is commonly used in the production of hard metals, mobile phones, light bulbs and electronic equipment.

The owners, Wolf Minerals (UK) Ltd, have managed to secure a loan of £55 million of the required £120 million from banks.

Humprey Hale, from Wolf Minerals said: “We will have revenues in the order of £60 million - £75 million per annum. With the mine life within the planning permission outline of ten years or so that’s £750 million that will be dug out of the ground here as new money.”

Jeff Harrison, from the company, also added: "This is the first metal mine in the UK for many, many years and it will be producing 4 percent of the world's tungsten, so it's a significant operation.”

An independent expert has labelled the project as ‘very viable’, especially since China is limiting exports of tungsten. China is the major producer of tungsten, with around 60 percent of global reserves under its feet. Therefore, the mining project in Devon is seen as a crucial development to secure supplies for the UK.

Wolf Minerals (UK) Ltd hopes to start selling in 2014 and create 230 permanent roles, bringing much needed skilled jobs to the region.

E-mail: Tel: +44(0)1709 724990 3

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