Motegi in Brazil to pitch offshore platform for oil development

Japanese trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi met with his Brazilian counterpart Fernando Pimentel on Thursday to market a mega offshore logistics hub that will help the South American country to enhance development of offshore oil

fields and other marine resources.

Japanese companies such as IHI Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. have conducted a study from February on the hub, which would be located midway between the shore and offshore oil drilling facilities. Equipped with a heliport, it could serve as a transportation base for workers at the drilling site.

The establishment of such a hub is expected to help Brazil cut expenses compared with the current setup in which helicopters transport people and items from land to offshore facilities located several hundred kilometers away, according to Japanese officials.

The offshore hub under consideration is to measure about 320 meters long and around 80 meters wide and would float in the South Atlantic Ocean about 200 km off Rio de Janeiro.

The construction cost is expected to be more than 50 billion yen.

Motegi, accompanied by IHI and other Japanese corporate executives, arrived in Brazil on Wednesday on the second leg of a three-nation tour that will also take him to the United States.

The economy, trade and industry minister is scheduled to return to Japan on Monday.