Inland Shipping Shipbuilding

Two pushboats launched at Beconal shipyard

Standardized design and construction proved valuable for the Brazilian shipbuilder

Despite the dramatic collapse of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry since its peak in 2014, a small group of shipyards has remained operational and profitable. Bertolini Construção Naval da Amazônia Ltda. (Beconal) is one of them. The yard has continually delivered inland vessels for the local market, mainly pushboats, dry bulk and tank barges.

The company launched today two sister vessels for Edlopes Transportes, the 1,180-horsepower EDL XXXIX and EDL XL. The pushers are part of a series of 8 vessels of a quasi-standardized design first introduced in 2010 with the pusher SCF. Four vessels were subsequently built for Bertolini Transportes, which is part of the same group that owns Beconal itself. Last May, the 6th pusher was launched, this time for WPL Transportes, the Waldemiro Lustoza IX. The vessel is in final fitting stages for delivery during 3Q20. The pair launched today thus represent the 4th different client and 7th and 8th similar units.

EDL XXXIX and EDL XL seen moored to a fitting barge at the Negro River, Manaus, after being launched in the morning of August 05, 2020. Photo credits: Fabio Serra / Beconal.

The pushers were designed in-house and share the same core equipment with previous units, such as the Staco interiors, the Mitsubishi S6R-MPTA engines and the Reintjes gearboxes. The commonality and simplicity of the design, beyond enabling the shipyard to streamline the construction processes, has earn the vessels a reputation of reliability and low maintenance cost.

The shipbuilding industry in northern Brazil has remained afloat due to a combination of factors, especially protectionist laws for inland shipping, public incentives and high demand from the “Northern Arc” dry bulk shipping revolution that rocked the region. However, survival would not be guaranteed without appropriate measures taken inside the shipyards themselves, and today’s launches are a testimony to that.


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