Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has been awarded new contracts with a potential value of $651m by Petrobras, a world leader in deep- and ultra-deep water oil and gas exploration and production, to support its production activities offshore Brazil.

Rolls-Royce will supply Petrobras with 32 RB211 gas turbine power generation packages, including waste-heat recovery units, to meet the power generation requirements of eight separate floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. The FPSOs, used for the processing of hydrocarbons and storage of oil, will operate in the petroleum rich Lula (formerly Tupi) and Guara oilfields, located in the pre-salt area of the Santos Basin off the coast of Brazil.

The new gas turbine power generation packages will be delivered in groups of four, with the first units scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2013. Four gas turbine generating sets will be installed on each of the eight FPSOs. To ensure that the FPSO vessels operate at peak performance levels, Rolls-Royce will also provide Petrobras with long-term services, technical support and training.

Andrew Heath, president – Energy, Rolls-Royce said: "We are delighted that Petrobras has again selected Rolls-Royce power generation technology to help meet its aggressive offshore oil and gas production objectives. Rolls-Royce has a strong record of equipment and services supply to Brazil’s energy sector and we are committed to supporting all our customers in the country with reliable, technology solutions and a strong localised presence."

Francisco ltzaina, regional director – South America, Rolls-Royce said: "Rolls-Royce is committed to continuing to expand its technology presence and manufacturing capabilities in Brazil, and to stimulate the local economy through job creation, skills development and training. To fulfil these contracts we will further develop our local supply chain to provide critical components required for our gas turbine power generation equipment."

In February Rolls-Royce announced plans for the construction of a new $100m purpose-built gas turbine assembly and test facility in Santa Cruz in the state of Rio de Janeiro which is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2013. Equipment from these contract awards, scheduled for installation in the Lula (Tupi) and Guara oilfields, will be among the first units to be assembled and tested at the new Rolls-Royce facility.

The latest contract award increases the number of Rolls-Royce RB211-powered industrial gas turbine units installed in Brazil over the last ten years to 62. The combined total amount of energy generated by these units is equivalent to 1.8GW of electric power, enough to supply energy to over seven million people.

Rolls-Royce has been active in Brazil for over 50 years and now has more than 500 employees across the country.