Ahead of privatisation, Brazil’s Ministry of Infrastructure (MINfra) issued an ordinance approving a significant expansion of the port boundaries, nearly doubling the land area of the Port of Santos, Brazilian media reported.

The expansion is intended to add value and sharpen the interest of stakeholders in the ports.

With the changes the port now extends over mainland Santos, upstream of the port’s navigational channel, incorporating greenfield area allocated for development of new projects. The new dimensions align with the Ministry’s latest development plan, announced in July 2020.

Before the boundary expansion, almost 95% of the operational area for the Port of Santos was occupied.

The Brazilian waterway regulator, National Waterway Transport Agency (ANTAQ), released notice of a request for comments on how best to privatise the Port of Santos. The public consultation will be open from 31 January to 16 March.

“The concession period will be 35 years, renewable for up to five years. The planned investments total $2bn the contractual term. The initial grant amount will be $250m,” ANTAQ said in a statement.

ANTAQ had already approved a bidding notice for the Dock Company of Espirito (Codesa), which oversee the Ports of Barra do Riacho and Vitoria. The concession agreement will also be valid for 35 years and renewable for another five years, and it is expected to bring in $60m in private investments.

“With the privatisation of Codesa, it is expected that the Port of Vitoria will double the movement of cargo from 7m to 14m tonnes per year. For the Barro do Riacho port terminal, the expectation is to explore new areas, as half of it are greenfield,” ANTAQ said.

Effectively, it commences the privatisation of the two ports – a first-of-its-kind project in Brazil’s shipping history.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News