Companies based in Mexico and the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia are working jointly on a "competitive offer" for a contract to refurbish and modernize Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex's "minor fleet" of ships, Galician officials said Friday.

The Galician government said in a news release on its Web site that its economy and industry minister, Francisco Conde, discussed the matter during his visit to the Mexican port of Mazatlan for a shipbuilding industry fair.

Conde met with representatives of Pemex, Mexico's Navy Secretariat and Galician and Mexican shipyards.

The gathering followed up on previous efforts to secure contracts for Galicia-based shipyards to build 25 vessels of Pemex's minor fleet at a cost of $240 million, the release said.

The leader of Galicia's regional government, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, already addressed this possibility during a visit to Mexico in April to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto and Pemex executives.

Conde said the project "could be finalized in the coming weeks."

"We confirmed that the Galician companies that are going to submit a joint offer with Mexican companies are in a magnificent position to vie for this contract," Conde was quoted in saying in the news release.

The statement said Galicia-based shipyards Freire, Valiña and Gabadi and Mexican companies Seni, Marecsa and TNG have been working jointly on a bid for months.

The contract would generate business for Galicia's shipbuilding sector, bolster Mexico's shipbuilding industry and mark "a new phase in the strategic alliance with Pemex."

Last year, Galicia-based shipyards won a contract to build two flotels for Pemex at a cost of $190 million each.

Pemex announced on May 1 that it had signed a letter of intent with Galicia-based shipyard Hijos de J. Barreras to acquire a 51-percent stake in that company. EFE