Vocation for growth

Browse Novonor's more than seven decades of experience.

Decade of1940

1944 The Beginning

In Salvador, Bahia, the young engineer, Norberto Odebrecht created a company that became the origin of the current Novonor. From its very founding, there was a simple idea that, even today, stands at the foundation of the Group's philosophy: to identify, integrate and develop young professionals with talent and a disposition for entrepreneurship.

1944 The Forerunners


The Group's DNA goes back to the year 1856, the date on which Emil Odebrecht arrived in Brazil. Following the flow of German immigration into the country, the German engineer settled in Vale do Itajaí, in the Southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.

He married Bertha Bichels, and they had 15 children. One of his grandsons, Emílio Odebrecht – Norberto's father – would pursue the field of Civil Construction and would reveal the entrepreneurial bent of the Odebrecht family.

The Isaac Gondim e Odebrecht Ltd. construction company was Emílio Odebrecht’s first company. In 1923, he founded Emílio Odebrecht & Cia., which was responsible for construction of several buildings during the interwar period in the Northeast of Brazil.

With the start of the Second World War, construction materials coming from Europe became expensive and scarce, generating a crisis in the construction business. Emílio got out of the business and it fell upon his son, Norberto, to take his place in 1941


1945 1945 – 1948

Norberto Odebrecht took on projects in Salvador and in rural Bahia and began to establish an exclusive name for quality and innovation. The projects included the Worker's Circle (1946), Ilha do Fogo River Shipyard (1947), docks and mooring bridge in Canavieiras (1948).

Construction innovation, planning and productivity allowed for the conclusion of the Belo Horizonte Building in just seven months, when the average at that time was three years.


Decade of1950

1952 The First Hydroelectric Power Plant

The Novonor Group builds its first hydroelectric power plant. The Correntina HPP was installed at the border between Bahia and Goiás.


1952 La primera hidroeléctrica

Odebrecht construye su primera central hidroeléctrica. La CHE de Correntina se implantó en la frontera de los estados de Bahia y Goiás.

1953 Catu-Candeias Oil Pipeline

The first project for Petrobras was completed: the finalization of the Catu-Candeias Oil Pipeline project, in Bahia, designed to transport oil extracted from the new Catu field at the Mataripe Refinery.

1953 Start of a Partnership

The first project for Petrobras was completed: the finalization of the Catu-Candeias Oil Pipeline project, in Bahia, designed to transport oil extracted from the new Catu field at the Mataripe Refinery.

1954 Construtora Norberto Odebrecht

The Group's original company became a corporation and was named Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. (CNO). Today, the company is called OEC.


1957 Castro Alves Theater

Construction of the Castro Alves Theater, in Salvador. The work was finished in 11 months and officially delivered to the State in July, 1958. Following a fire which destroyed the building, the theater was reinaugurated in 1967, also built by Odebrecht.

1959 Start to the Cultural Contributions

The publication of the book Homenagem à Bahia Antiga (Tribute to Old Bahia), by historian José Valladores and supported by OEC, marks the beginning of the Group's contribution to culture.

Decade of1960

1961 Expansion in Brazil's Northeast

With the opening of its branch office in Recife, with the stimulus of Sudene, the Group expanded its operations to the Northeast of Brazil.

In 1963, the Group established contracts for a series of projects in Pernambuco: the factories of the companies Willys Overland, Coperbo, Alpargatas Confecções and Tintas Coral do Nordeste.


1965 Social Responsibility

The Odebrecht Foundation is created with aims of assisting Group team members. Today, its actions are promoted primarily in the Bahia Southern Lowlands and focused on assisting youth.

1969 Expansion into the Southeast

The Group expands to the Southeast of Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, the Group built the Petrobras main office building, the campus of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Galeão International Airport and the Angra I Thermonuclear Plant.

Decade of1970

1973 National Operations

  • The Group has become a company with national operations and projects underway in the majority of the Brazilian states. These include the construction of the Colombo Salles Bridge in Florianópolis (SC), and the restoration of the Amazonas Theater in Manaus (AM).
  • With over 500 projects to its credit, OEC found itself financially steady and had already become one of the major construction companies in the Northeast.

1979 Diversification and Internationalization

  • The diversification of its Business began with the creation of Odebrecht Perfurações Ltda., tasked with the drilling of oil wells, and the acquisition of 1/3 interest in Companhia Petroquímica Camaçari (CPC), its first investment in the field of petrochemicals.
  • Going international: The first contracts outside the country were signed in Peru (Charcani V) and in Chile (project to divert the Maule River to the Colbún-Machicura Hydroelectric plant).  

Decade of1980

1980 Engineering and Construction

With the incorporation of the Brazilian Project and Construction Work Company (CBPO) – the company responsible for projects along the main São Paulo highways, such as Imigrantes, Trabalhadores and Castelo Branco –, OEC is entering the segment of hydroelectric power plants and expanding its Engineering and Construction operations in Brazil.

1981 Odebrecht S.A.

The Odebrecht S.A. holding company is created, for the purpose of preserving its philosophical concepts and defining the direction of its business.

1984 Angola

  • Start of operations in Angola, with the signing of the contract for construction of the Capanda Hydroelectric Power Plant, capable of generating 520 MW of energy.
  • Expansion of its investments in petrochemicals with the purchase of stock in Salgema.

1985 Projects Abroad

The Group's projects abroad represented about 30% of the contracts on its books. 

1986 Engineering and Petrochemical

  • New investments in the petrochemical area with the acquisition of shares in the companies Poliolefinas, PPH and Unipar.
  • Incorporation of Tenenge, a company specialized in industrial assembly, with stake in over one-third of Brazil's hydroelectric power plant facilities.

1987 Argentina and Ecuador

  • Construction began on the Pichi Picún Leufú (PPL) Hydroelectric Power Plant in Patagonia, OEC's first project in Argentina.
  • That same year, the Group arrives to Ecuador, responsible for the construction work for the Santa Elena Irrigation project in Guayaquil.

1988 Portugal

  •  OEC acquires the construction company José Bento Pedroso & Filhos and begins operating in Portugal. The new company is called Bento Pedroso Construções.
  • The Odebrecht Foundation redirects its focus on educating youth from the Bahia Southern Lowlands region.

1989 Argentina

Construction began on the Pichi Picún Leufú Hydroelectric plant  (PPL), The Group's first project in Argentina.

Decade of1990

1991 United States

  • Operations begin in the United States and Odebrecht becomes the first Brazilian company to complete a public construction project in that country. The first project established is for the Metromover.
  • In England, SLP Engineering is acquired, specializing in oil platform construction.
  • Norberto Odebrecht passes the presidency of Odebrecht S.A. to his son, Emílio Odebrecht, and remains as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

1992 Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela

  • The construction of the Los Huites Dam and of the El Lago Commercial Center mark the beginning of operations in Mexico and Venezuela, respectively.
  • OEC wins the contract to build the Loma-Santa Marta Railroad in Colombia. 
  • Acquisition, in association with the Ipiranga Group, of controlling interest in Copesul, the raw materials center of the Petrochemical Complex at Triunfo, in Rio Grande do Sul.

1993 Concessions

  • Establishment of its first concession contract outside Brazil: the West Access Highway to Buenos Aires, in Argentina.
  • Construction of the first semisubmersible oil rig, in Singapore: the P-18, for Petrobras.

1994 50 years

The Group celebrates its 50th anniversary operating in 21 countries and with 34,000 members.

1995 OPP Química

  • OPP Química is created, by combining the assets of PPH and Poliolefinas, which had been acquired during the National Program of Denationalization, in 1993.
  • In 1995, the first private company responsible for public sanitation services, the then Odebrecht Environmental Engineering, establishes its first concession in Limeira, a city in rural São Paulo.

1996 Trikem

Through the acquisition of controlling interest in CPC and Salgema, which took place in 1994, also during the National Program of Denationalization, Trikem was formed.

1998 2nd Generation

Norberto Odebrecht retires from business and concentrates his efforts as president of the board of trustees of the Odebrecht Foundation. Emílio Odebrecht takes over as chairman of the board of directors of Odebrecht S.A.


Decade of2000

2001 International Recognition

  • Acquisition, at auction, of controlling interest in Copene, the raw materials center of the Camaçari Petrochemical Complex in Bahia.
  • OEC becomes, according to the United States magazine ENR (Engineering News Records), number 1 in the world in international hydroelectric power plant construction.

2002 The Birth of Braskem

  • Emílio Odebrecht passes the presidency of Odebrecht S.A. to Pedro Novis and concentrates his efforts on serving as the company's chairman of the board of directors.
  • Creation of Braskem, which combines all petrochemical assets of the Group.

2003 Odebrecht Historical Research Award

  • The Group reaches the historic landmark of 1,000 members who have been with the company for over 25 years.
  • The Odebrecht Historical Research - Clarival do Prado Valladares Award is launched, as an incentive to the development of Brazilian historiography.
  • The Group begins operating in the United Arab Emirates.

2004 60 years

  • The Group celebrates its 60th anniversary operating in 16 countries and with 40,000 members.
  • OEC is named as the top company in Construction and Engineering in Latin America, by Global Finance magazine.

2006 Oil & Gas

Creation of Odebrecht Oil & Gas, through which the Group resumes its investments in offshore drilling.

2007 Agroindustry and Real Estate Developments

  • TETH Bioenergia is created (current Atvos) to carry out all functions from the production and milling of sugar cane to the sale of its final products.
  • Foundation of OR, which develops residential, business, commercial, tourism and multi-use projects in Brazil.
  • After 10 years, the Group reestablishes its presence in Mozambique and begins operating in Libya and Liberia.
  • The petrochemical assets of the Ipiranga Group are acquired.

2008 Energy

  • Construction begins for the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Madeira River, in Rondônia, a landmark for Brazil's energy sector. The project was the point of departure for the Continued Professional Qualification Program - Acreditar (Believe), which prioritizes the contracting of local workers through labor training.

2009 Sustainability

  • Pedro Novis transfers the presidency of Odebrecht S.A. to Marcelo Odebrecht – Emílio's son. 
  • The Group's operations in the sanitation sector began to focus on Odebrecht Environmental, which was previously called Foz do Brasil.
  • Braskem begins building the first Green Ethane plant in Rio Grande do Sul, focused on the raw material of a renewable source for the production of "green" plastic.

Decade of2010

2010 Leadership and Mobility

  • The Group was named the World's Best Family-Owned Company by Switzerland's International Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  • With the creation of OTP, investments are intensified in transportation and logistics in Brazil.
  • During the construction of the P-59 and P-60 self-raising oil platforms for Petrobras in Paraguaçu River, Bahia, the Group became part of the Enseada Paraguaçu Shipyard (EEP), currently called Enseada Shipbuilding. This allowed the Group to intensify its installation of offshore units, such as platforms, specialized ships and drill rigs at a new Business.
  • Braskem incorporates Quattor and Sunoco Chemicals, making it the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas.
  • Odebrecht Agroindustrial acquires Brenco, one of the leading companies in the sector.

2011 Defense and Technology

  • Braskem acquires assets from Dow Chemical: two industrial plants in the United States and two in Germany.
  • Creation of ODT, for the purpose of supporting the development of the Brazilian defense industry.
  • For the first time, the Group is one of the 10 Companies Most Admired by Brazilian Youth, according to the ranking by Cia. de Talentos.

2012 Concessions in Brazil and in Latin America

  • Creation of Odebrecht Properties, focused on operating real estate assets in Brazil.
  • Foundation of OLI, focused on investments in logistics and infrastructure in Latin America with projects in the segments of roads, rapid transit and pipelines, prioritizing Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

2013 Investments in Concessions

  • The Group invests heavily in concessions and expands its portfolio with the management of multi-use arenas, highways, light rail, basic sanitation systems, subways and airports.
  • Inauguration of the new Fonte Nova arenas in Bahia and Pernambuco, and the reopening of Maracanã Stadium after it was remodeled. The construction work was completed by OEC for the 2014 World Cup. Odebrecht Properties began operating the facility.

2014 70 Years

  • OEC celebrates 35 years of operations in Peru, 30 years in Angola and 10 years in Mozambique.
  • The Group completes 70 years of age, with diversified operations through its 15 Businesses, three Investment Funds and five Supporting Companies, in addition to the social activities of the Odebrecht Foundation and the wide range of socio-environmental and cultural programs in the Communities in which they are found.
  • OTP – working in association with Mitsui – creates Odebrecht Mobility, which operates in the segment of passenger transport with four assets: SuperVia (RJ), Move São Paulo (SP), Carioca LRV (RJ) and Goiânia LRV (GO).
  • The Riogaleão Concessionaire – formed by OTP, Changi Airports International and INFRAERO – assumes the operation of the Tom Jobim International Airport in Rio de Janeiro.
  • The Group's Businesses establish new contracts in Brazil and abroad: Recovery of Navigability along the Magdalena River in Colombia, Los Ramones II North Gas Pipeline in Mexico, and the new stretch of the Costa Verde Highway in Peru; Improvements in Energy Security in the Country and Development of the Peruvian South Gas Pipeline by OLI; and Rota das Fronteiras, in Paraná, and the Rota do Oeste Highway in Mato Grosso, by OTP.
  • Braskem is elected one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies of the Year by the magazine Fast Company, and earns distinction for its research work on products of a renewable origin, such as "green” plastic.

2016 Expansion in Mexico

  • Braskem inaugurated its Petrochemical Complex in Mexico, in partnership with Mexican company Idesa. The result of a US$5.2 billion investment, the Petrochemical Complex in Mexico is considered the largest greenfield investment ever made by a Brazilian company abroad.
  • Odebrecht S.A. announced in December/16 the execution of an agreement with the Brazilian Federal Prosecution Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General to resolve the investigation into the group’s involvement in wrongdoings to benefit companies in its economic group. 
  • The Group, in a commitment to Brazil, decided to collaborate with the investigations of Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) with the purpose of making a significant contribution to the Brazilian Judicial Branch and the construction of a better country. 
  • At this moment, the company recognized its mistakes, apologized, and made a new commitment to continue on the path of an ethical, honest and transparent performance. 
  • Odebrecht S.A. adhered to the Business Pact for Integrity and Anti-Corruption, an initiative of Instituto Ethos de Empresas e Responsabilidade Social, committing to disseminate anti-corruption legislation to team members and stakeholders, in addition to being monitored annually to ensure the application of the pact's principles.

2017 Global Advisory Council and Restructuring

  • In April, the Group consummated the divestment of Odebrecht Ambiental. The company was founded in 2008 and became Brazil’s largest private sanitation provider, serving over 17 million people in 12 states with water supply and sewage treatment services.
  • The global advisory council, created by the Odebrecht S.A.’s board of directors to support the governance, strategic direction and development of the Group’s companies, met for the first time in October in São Paulo, Brazil. The main topics discussed in the seminar were the role of companies in society, the factors for long-term success and how to compete in challenging environments while upholding integrity, high ethical standards, and transparency.
  • The holding company Odebrecht S.A. reviewed its business model and adopted a new role as the strategic architect of its business, focusing on the definition of guidelines and the sharing of synergies. In this new design, the Group companies have more autonomy in the management of their businesses and can adopt a new brand strategy. In 2017, Braskem, OR and Atvos adopted new brands.
  • Odebrecht signed a cooperation agreement with Panama, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

2018 New Board of Directors

  • OOdebrecht S.A., in one of the most sweeping and profound changes in its transformation process, has announced that it will replace practically the entire board of directors and will include a majority of independent directors drawn from the market, bringing greater diversity to the Board.
  • Odebrecht Oil & Gas, specialized in providing services for the oil and gas industry, is now called Ocyan. The company presented its new visual identity, in addition to strengthening its position in the market. The rebranding closes a cycle of renewal for the company, with the completion of its financial restructuring.
  • Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica – Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) ratified six instruments of termination of conduct (TCC) signed with OEC, through which the company undertakes to pay a total of up to R$ 578 million for practices against competition in public bids.
  • Odebrecht S.A., together with some of its subsidiaries (Atvos, Braskem, Ocyan, OEC and OR), signed “Carta Compromisso do Movimento Empresarial pela Integridade e Transparência”, an initiative led by   Instituto Ethos in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and International Transparency. The purpose of the initiative is to engage business leaders in the integrity agenda, with a special focus on improving public-private relations and strengthening the prevention and fight against corruption in Brazil.
  • The Ministry of Transparency and the Office of the Federal Controller General (CGU) and the Office of the General Counsel for the Federal Government (AGU) signed a leniency agreement with Odebrecht S.A. in the amount of approximately R$ 2.7 billion. The agreement strengthens legal security for the sustainable resumption of the Group’s growth and, among other things, contributes to the recovery of the Brazilian infrastructure market. 
    Petrobras released a statement confirming the execution of an Instrument of Commitment for the removal of the provisional remedy blocking the Group's companies, in force since 12/29/2014. 
    Odebrecht signed a cooperation agreement with Guatemala.
  • To better adapt to the reality of the different markets, Odebrecht S.A. has given its Businesses more autonomy, and they now start to make decisions regarding brand positioning. Within this scenario, Braskem, which has completed 15 years of operation as a company with increasingly global operations, has adopted a new visual identity. Odebrecht Realizações Imobiliárias, the Group's real estate arm, is now called OR.

2019 New OEC brand

  • To reflect their businesses autonomy and independence strategy, the companies of the Group concluded the brand change process. In this scenario, Odebrecht Latinvest became OLI, Odebrecht Transport, OTP, and the auxiliary companies Odebrecht Corretora de Seguros and Odebrecht Previdência, are now called Horiens and Vexty, respectively. 
  • Odebrecht S.A., together with their parent companies and some subsidiaries, announced a request for court-supervised reorganization on June 17, 2019. 
  • The Peruvian Judicial Branch approved the final agreement with Odebrecht that establishes the basis for the company's continued cooperation with the country's justice system.
  • The Office of Institutional Integrity of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) executed an agreement with Odebrecht S.A., Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção S.A., and CNO S.A. As a result, a $50 million contribution was agreed to be paid to NGOs and social projects that support improvements in the quality of life of vulnerable communities in IDB member countries.
  • The World Bank has announced an agreement with Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. (CNO) through which the company does not contest its participation in practices that are contrary to the institution's rules related to a basic sanitation project in Colombia, not performed by the CNO. As a result, Construtora Norberto Odebrecht S.A. will not be able to participate in new projects financed by the World Bank for three years. 
  • Eletrobras adhered to the Leniency Agreement executed between the Ministry of Transparency and the Office of the Federal Controller General and Odebrecht, with the intervention of the Office of the General Counsel for the Federal Government. 

Decade of2020

2020 Court-Supervised Reorganization Plan

  • In April, the Creditors' General Meeting approved the Court-Supervised Reorganization Plan of Odebrecht S.A. and 11 other controlled or parent companies. The result represents an important demonstration of confidence in the Group's capacity for economic and financial recovery. 
  • The Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the US Department of Justice recognized the advances in Braskem’s Compliance System and concluded the monitoring of the company. 
  • The Court Supervised Reorganization Plan of Odebrecht SA, its parent companies Kieppe and ODBinv and most of its non-operating subsidiaries was homologated by the Judge of the 1st Bankruptcy and Court Supervised Reorganization from São Paulo. 

2021 New Norberto Odebrecht Foundation brand

  • In honor of its founder's history and legacy, the institution is now called the Norberto Odebrecht Foundation. 
  • The change also celebrates an important milestone in more than 55 years of history: the search for responsible expansion, in which the institution will put its social technology with proven impacts at the service of public managers, private companies and their leaders, investors, and social entrepreneurs as a model of sustainable territorial development to address contexts of social vulnerability. 
  • With this positioning, Norberto Odebrecht Foundation reinforces its basic purpose of contributing in the fight against poverty and inequality in order to build a more responsible, harmonious and solidary society with equal opportunities for all.