21 July 2014, News Wires – Norberto Odebrecht, founder of one of Brazil’s largest oil and gas contractors, has died at the age of 93.
The engineering and construction magnate, who fostered close ties with state oil giant Petrobras many decades ago, began building his empire in Salvador and rural Bahia.
One of the first projects for the company was the building of the River Shipyard in Ihla do Fogo in the late 1940s.
In 1953 the company completed its first project for Petrobras, building the Catu-Candeias oil pipeline in Bahia, taking oil from the Catu field.
In the late 1960s, Odebrecht expanded south in Brazil, building Petrobras’ main office in Rio de Janeiro as well as the Federal University in the city and Galeao International Airport.
Odebrecht Perfuracoes was established in 1979 to drill oil wells. Odebrecht Oil & Gas was created in 2006 as the company resumed its investment in offshore drilling.
In 1991 the founder passed the presidency reins on to son Emilio, but remained as chairman. Three years later the company built its first semi-submersible, the P-18, in Singapore for Petrobras.
Seven years later Norberto Odebrecht retired, Emilio taking over as chairman, himself passing the presidency to Pedro Novis in 2002.
In 2008 Novis passed the presidency on to Marcelo Odebrecht, Norberto’s grandson, who retains the position to this day.
Apart from the oil and gas arena, the company has completed some of Latin America’s largest projects, including the Santo Antonia hydroelectric plant in Porto Velho, Brazil.
The company was also in a consortium that built four of the 12 stadia for the recent World Cup in Brazil