The Latin American (LATAM) region may be the home of more than 5 languages, yet PALFINGER MARINE speaks the one that everyone understands: the language of complete solutions for the marine and offshore industries. With the main office in Brazil, our reach sprawls across Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and a row of Central American nations. We met up with Guilherme Felix, Head of Global Marine After Sales at PALFINGER MARINE, to take us on a fascinating tour of the LATAM region as part of a series exploring our global presence.

PALFINGER MARINE’s operations in Latin America are coordinated by a compact, dedicated team of approximately 40 to 50 employees based in Brazil. The region is booming and harbors enormous potential that we are keen to tap into. “The heart of PALFINGER MARINE in LATAM beats in Rio de Janeiro” Guilherme explains. “Roughly 200 kilometers to the Northeast, in a town called Macaé, we have set up our operational base for marine services, including service execution, spare parts, and offshore work preparation teams, as well as workshops,” he adds. Agents and dealers cover the non-Brazilian markets on location in major markets such as Chile, Colombia, and Argentina.

Focus on Offshore Oil & Gas, Fishing, and Aquaculture

Portrait of Guilherme Felix on a grey background. He is wearing a suit jacket and a white shirt.
Guilherme Felix, Head of Global Marine After Sales

For a long time, PALFINGER MARINE’s main segment in LATAM was certainly offshore oil & gas, but a recognizable shift is happening with an increase in fishing- and aquaculture-related orders. Guilherme has the numbers: “Given an ongoing boom in the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) field, boats and davits historically contributed roughly 65% to our LATAM revenue. Marine handling solutions and marine cranes made up the remaining 35%, but we fully expect that ratio to level out at 50:50 in 2023. We have tripled our revenue since 2017 and are super excited about the future.” An uptick in vessel and crane orders naturally results in a higher demand for repair and maintenance. This is where the technician teams of Macaé, who are dispatched from the service hub, come into play.

PALFINGER MARINE’s Success Stories in LATAM

Guilherme’s eyes light up when asked about our most significant milestones in the LATAM region – and with good reason. “PALFINGER MARINE has earned a stellar reputation for its larger offshore cranes, which are mostly deployed on FPSOs,” he explains. The first project of this kind dates back to 2010, when our first two tailor-made cranes started operating on the FPSO vessel Capixaba. A couple of years later, crane orders increased significantly.

PALFINGER MARINE cranes installed on FPSO Almirante Barroso

PALFINGER MARINE expects to have more than 14 FPSO cranes in operation in Brazil by the end of 2024. Guilherme is particularly proud of our set-up in LATAM, which feeds directly into our success in the region.

The internal cooperation between product and service-side is extraordinary.

Guilherme Felix, Head of Global Marine After Sales at PALFINGER MARINE

Guilherme adds: “Our ability to offer high-quality equipment, as well as a lifetime of service and support, is reflected in recent order surges.” Yet the LATAM region has so many other fields to offer besides FPSOs. PALFINGER MARINE is, for example, a trusted supplier of crane systems for well-boats used in the aquaculture industry.

PALFINGER MARINE cranes installed on live fish carrier OWURKAN | © ASENAV Shipyards

We have also contributed to a number of exciting projects involving pipe laying vessels for the offshore and oil & gas segment. A venture that we are particularly proud of entails a contract for the delivery of a polar code compliant lifesaving appliances package. It will soon be installed on a research vessel currently under construction.

Another fascinating aspect of the LATAM market is our rescue boat rental service, which PALFINGER MARINE started in 2017. The rental boats come in handy whenever customers need to implement major overhauls of their own rescue boat fleets. Just recently, we added a new FRSQ 630G to our rental operations in order to improve our dedicated service. The incredible quality of our boats is reflected in zero downtime and the fact that some customers even want to purchase our rentals.

Exciting Market Prospects in Latin America

Obviously, we asked Guilherme what the future holds for the maritime and offshore industry in the LATAM region. He firmly believes the future is bright, while also acknowledging current and upcoming challenges:

PALFINGER MARINE is perfectly placed to tap into the vast potential of the LATAM region by offering state-of-the-art, complete marine solutions to a market with a great appetite. The individual markets are developing in interesting directions – and we are ready to develop with them.

PALFINGER MARINE is a strong brand with an equally strong presence in the LATAM region. As our network moves closer together as part of our renewed focus on complete solutions, we are confident that we can continue to grow in line with the market. As the market matures, we mature with it. Join us on this journey.

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