MPX to build US$150mn coal port

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brazilian electric power company MPX Energia has bought a 521ha site on Colombia's Atlantic coast to build a coal port, the company said in a release.

The firm plans to invest US$150mn to build the facility which is scheduled to start operations in 2H11, at the same time as a coal mine belonging to sister company MMX.

Located in the town of Dibulla in La Guajira department, the site is some 150km from MPX's coal mine where the company confirmed the existence of 110Mt of coal resources in September last year.

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The port will have a draft of up to 20m and the capacity to export up to 20Mt/y of coal, MPX said.

The company is carrying out a revision of its coal reserves in Q1. Depending on the results, MPX could eventually take on partners to build a railway connecting the mine to the port, MPX president Eduardo Karrer told press.

MPX has coal-fired thermoelectric projects in Brazil but should also benefit from strong demand for coal from Asia.

Both MPX and MMX are units of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's EBX group.