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Brazil's federal government is planning a public-private partnership (PPP) for phase one of a 2.4bn-real (US$979mn) waterway project.
The initiative involves making 1,491km of the Parnaíba and Balsas rivers, along the Maranhão-Piauí state border, navigable.
The fluvial route, dubbed the Parnaíba waterway, will run from the Gonçalves river in Piauí state capital Teresina to the Parnaíba river delta. It will be used to help facilitate the transport of commodities such as soy, cotton, corn and fertilizer.
Due to the high cost, the project would implemented in phases. The first involves approximately 702mn reais in investment, to be made via a 50-month PPP which should kick off in 2015, according to the website of congressman Jesus Rodrigues.
The waterway's budget was established in a technical, economic and environmental feasibility study presented by the Hidrotopo-DZETA consortium last week. The federal government provided the group with 5.8mn reais in funding under phase 2 of the country's growth acceleration plan, PAC, local paper Jornal O Dia reported.
Building the new waterway is also expected to push the construction of new port facilities in the Piauí town of Luís Correia.
BNamericas will host its 5th South America Infrastructure Summit in Colombia on October 22-23.