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South America's busiest port set to receive US$1.87bn investment

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, July 30, 2020
South America's busiest port set to receive US$1.87bn investment

Brazil’s infrastructure ministry approved a zoning and development plan (PDZ) for Santos port, South America’s busiest, paving the way for investments over 9.7bn reais (US$1.87bn). 

"The authorization will allow the modernization of the port by strategically planning the occupation of public areas for the next 20 years. The implementation of the plan will increase the capacity of the Santos complex by approximately 50%, by 2040, reaching 241Mt," the ministry said in a release.

Investments will materialize over the next 10 years, according to Santos Port Authority (SPA), the state-owned company running the port.

The projected investment is divided in investments in terminals with ongoing contracts (2.5bn reais), concessions for eight terminals (5.2bn reais), and road-railway access renovations (2bn reais).

“It was 14 years without planning for the most important port complex in the country. The new PDZ has a fundamental socioeconomic dimension,” Santos Port Authority’s business development and regulation director Bruno Stupello said in a press release.

“When paving the way for investments of approximately 10bn reais, mostly in the next five years, the estimate is that between construction and new stations at the terminals, 60,400 jobs will be created, equivalent to 21% of the employed population in the three cities surrounding the port, Santos, Guarujá and Cubatão,” he added.

PORT ACTIVITY 

The plans come as the government seeks to attract more private sector investors

The ports segment is among the most resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to its strong links with the commodities segment, which is less impacted by the health and economic crises. 

In the first half, cargo handling through Brazilian state-run ports totaled nearly 169Mt, up 6.6% compared with the same period of 2019.

“The numbers showed that, even with the pandemic, the port sector continues to function well and fulfilling the role of selling  products to other countries, thus collaborating with Brazil’s trade balance,” infrastructure minister Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas said in a statement.

“It is important to note that looking ahead the general scenario is still one of growth and resilience.”

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