Do you know that scenario of uniforms hanging from the clotheslines of houses, which became common at the time of the construction of the Abreu e Lima Refinery (Rnest), in Suape? He will come back. Petrobras announced in its Strategic Plan 2022-2026 that it will invest US$ 1 billion (more than R$ 5 billion) to complete the work. This means that 10 thousand jobs will be created in the complex. Heavy construction workers, who had their resumes in their drawers since 2014, when the Rnest works were demobilized, can update their data to compete for vacancies.
This Thursday (25), during a virtual press conference to present the Strategic Plan, Petrobras directors clarified that the interest is not to stop selling the operation, but to conclude it to increase the value of the asset and increase the chances of sale. The expectation of creating 10,000 jobs in the coming years comes at an important moment for the economy of Pernambuco, which is facing chaos in the job market.
The state has occupied the top of a negative ranking, appearing with the highest unemployment rate in Brazil, in the 2nd quarter of the Pnad Contínua released by the IBGE. While the national rate was 14.1%, Pernambuco’s extrapolated 20%, reaching a staggering 21.6%.
Regardless of the proportions (because at the time of the construction of the refinery the number of workers reached 40 thousand), the 10 thousand jobs mean a new boom in Suape. But they also draw attention back to the problems that happened in the past, such as the lack of infrastructure in cities to face the increase in social demands, the need to hire labor from outside the state and problems in the Labor Court with companies hired by the Petrobras.
BIDDING IN PROGRESS
During the press conference, the director of Refining and Natural Gas at Petrobras, Rodrigo Costa, explained that the investment of US$ 1 billion has a potential to generate employment of 10,000 vacancies. Asked by the JC regarding the hiring of companies that will be responsible for completing Rnest’s first train, he did not release names, but said that the process is in the final bidding stage. After that, it will start to hire people and start the works in Suape.
The completion of the Refinery will allow it to increase its processing capacity from the current 115,000 barrels to 230,000 barrels per day. In addition to the emission abatement unit (Snox), which is part of the first train, Abreu e Lima still has several units to be built, such as atmospheric distillation, delayed coking and others.
Involved in the Lava Jato operation, Rnest was considered the most expensive refinery in the world, thanks to the high amount of bribes paid at the time of construction. According to Petrobras, the investment in the work, which was not even completed, reached US$ 18.5 billion. Petrobras’ Financial and Investor Relations Director, Rodrigo Araújo, reinforces that the company has no intention of giving up on selling the unit. “There was a risk that the non-completion of the work would influence Rnest not to be sold. Therefore, we are going to complete the refinery to increase the value of the asset and make a more successful sale. We will talk to Cade to adjust the schedule of sale and request that the opening of the sale not only start when the work is finished, but throughout the construction”, he adds.