Eurocopter has delivered the first from an initial contract for four EC225 helicopters to OMNI Helicopter International (OHI).
During this occasion, OHI also placed a second order for six additional aircraft of this type, bringing to ten the total number of EC225s that they will operate for oil & gas missions in Brazil.
Delivered in offshore configuration, this helicopter will be operated by OHI’s Brazilian subsidiary, Omni Taxi Aéreo, for the oil company Petrobras. The second EC225 from the initial contract will be delivered this May and the remaining two in 2013. Delivery of the six helicopters included in the second contract will be completed by mid-2015.
This new helicopter is also the first EC225 that Eurocopter has delivered to Milestone Aviation Group, as OHI has decided to partner with this company, a world leader in the helicopter leasing sector, for the purchase of this landmark helicopter. In the short time since its creation, Milestone has become a key player in arranging financing solutions for operators. Eurocopter endeavours to work closely with Milestone in order to find new opportunities and solutions for its customers around the world.
“We have been working with Eurocopter for more than ten years now and we’re very pleased to bring the EC225 into our fleet,” said Rui Almeida, Chairman of OHI. “This helicopter will help us respond to the needs of our main customer, Petrobras, which demands increasingly more powerful and safer aircraft to guarantee transportation many miles offshore.”
Following the discovery of gas and oil reserves in the pre-salt layer, Brazil is looking to become the world’s fourth-largest oil producer by 2030 and Petrobras, which exploits most of these resources, is preparing for its oil rigs to be located increasingly farther offshore. With a range of up to 600 nautical miles when equipped with external fuel tanks, the EC225 offers outstanding performance in such conditions. Following this delivery to OMNI, there are now three companies currently operating the EC225 for Brazil’s largest oil company.
“The success of the EC225 in the oil & gas sector boils down in particular to its outstanding reliability in the most demanding operational conditions,” explained Olivier Lambert, Senior Vice-President Sales and Customer Relations for Eurocopter. “We are grateful to Omni Helicopter International for the confidence they have placed in the aircraft that make up the Eurocopter range, and we are confident that the new EC225 will guarantee the success of many new projects.”
Omni Taxi Aéreo operates one of the largest civil fleets of Eurocopter aircraft in Latin America, one that comprises five EC155s, six EC135s, four AS365 N3s, one AS365 N2 and four BO105s, in addition to the new EC225. All of these aircraft are used for operations in Brazil’s oil & gas sector and are mainly counted on for passenger transportation to and between oil rigs, while also carrying out emergency medical services.
In its efforts to support Brazil’s oil and gas market, the world’s fastest-growing offshore helicopter market, Eurocopter is making preparations to manufacture the EC225 at its Brazilian subsidiary, Helibras. The subsidiary is soon to open new facilities that will initially be used to produce the EC725, the military version of the helicopter, for Brazil’s armed forces. The EC225/EC725 production and service structure will be further enhanced by the installation of an EC225 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) in Rio de Janeiro.
Eurocopter’s EC225 offers optimal safety with superior speed, range, payload and reliability. Deployed worldwide for civil and military search and rescue (SAR) missions, as well as offshore and passenger transport flights, it is the latest-generation member of the Super Puma/Cougar family, which has logged more than four million flight hours in operations around the world. In the global oil & gas industry alone, there are currently some 70 EC225s in operation.
This aircraft is perfectly suited to operate in adverse weather conditions. Designed to meet the highest safety requirements, it is backed by system redundancy, a highly capable automatic flight control system and the capability for full deicing, which allows for flight in all known icing conditions.
The EC225 can also be rapidly reconfigured for SAR missions from its offshore configuration for oil & gas companies.
Source: Eurocopter, April 22, 2012