Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos and the Navy Secretariat have signed an agreement for the construction of 22 ships, they said in a joint statement.

The "minor-fleet" ships to be built include tugs, barges, lighters and specialized multipurpose vessels.

The agreement was signed Thursday by Navy Secretary Adm. Vidal Francisco Soberon and Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya in a ceremony presided over by President Enrique Peña Nieto, who also participated Thursday in a navy graduation ceremony.

Pemex Refinacion, Pemex's refinery unit, will provide the navy with the specifications for the ships and will supervise their construction.

"The program to modernize Pemex's minor fleet includes the construction of 25 boats in total, taking into account shallow-draft tankers," the statement added.

It said the accord responded to Peña Nieto's instruction to "promote a strategic cooperation between Pemex and the Navy Secretariat" for the renewal of Pemex Refinacion's minor fleet, which is used to transport hydrocarbons and their derivatives.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed, although last Sept. 27 Pemex said the construction of 25 ships for Pemex Refinacion would require an investment outlay of $240 million.

On that date, Pemex unveiled a broader $600 million plan to replace 132 vessels used by its refinery and exploration units, saying it was the company's most significant fleet-renewal program in two decades.

As part of that plan, Pemex signed a deal last year with Spanish shipyards for the construction of two floating hotels, which are used to accommodate offshore oil workers. EFE