RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Japanese floating equipment maker Modec Inc is looking to win one or two major platform contracts per year in Brazil as it aims to grow in the country's offshore oil boom, a senior executive told Reuters.
A string of contracts in recent years has made Brazil a key market for the firm, Soichi Ide, Modec's chief digital officer and vice-president of operations for Latin America and Ghana, said from his office in Rio de Janeiro.
"There are no other locations like Brazil, where we can really keep producing in new areas. That's not happening anywhere in the world, only in Brazil," Ide said.
His comments underscore the offshore industry's enthusiasm for Brazilian pre-salt discoveries, where billions of barrels of oil are trapped beneath a layer of salt under the ocean floor — even after weak demand in recent auctions.
Modec sees global oil majors in Brazil and state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA, known as Petrobras, will need some 20 to 30 platforms in the next five years, Ide said.
Globally, the company has 18 platforms in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In Brazil since 2003, its floating equipment accounts for 35% of the country's pre-salt production.
Modec has a total of 11 platforms in Brazil's pre-salt and conventional areas, with four platforms under construction.
The company plans to hire some 800 employees in Brazil in 2020, a 35% rise from current levels, Ide said. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)