In 2009 Transpetro, the transport division of Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras, visited the Netherlands in search of international shipyards able to participate in a tender for its Fleet Modernization and Expansion Program (Promef). One of the shipyards fitting their profile was Concordia Shipyards and they were invited to bid for 20 convoys, consisting of 1 push boat and 4 barge meant to sail the Tiete- Parana Waterway in order to transport ethanol to domestic and foreign markets. The annual transport capacity of this fleet would reach 4 billion m3, which is about 20% of the current market.
25 Brazilian and international shipyards were invited to bid but Concordia Shipyards, in consortium with Mendes Jr, was the only international company able to submit a proposal. They quoted a modern fleet in which the latest technology was incorporated and which would meet technological, safety and social requirements, now and in the future.
Though Concordia Shipyards did not win, they were now motivated to search for other opportunities on the Brazilian shipping market. They launched Estaleiro Concordia do Brasil Ltda. to further investigate the possibilities the inland waterways of Brazil had to offer. The experience Concordia Shipyard had gained by participating in the aforementioned tender presented without doubt added value in comparison to other companies planning to operate in the same area. This experience, together with the ability to introduce new concepts for the Brazilian inland waterways, raised the interest of various companies operating at the Tiete-Parana Waterway.