Edinho Araujo, the SEP minister, signed, on Monday, a 25-year extension to the concession agreement held by Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) for its coal terminal in the port of Itaguai (also known as Sepetiba) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, allowing it to double capacity from 30 million tonnes per annum up to 60 million tonnes.
He also signed the authorisation for a new Terminal Uso Privado (TUP, or Private Use Terminal) for Santos. This is for the Vetria Mineração company - part of the Triunfo group which also includes the Portonave box terminal in Navegantes - to install a brand new terminal on 1.9 sq metres of land which will handle three different types of iron ore and handle annually around 25 tonnes.
Araujo told journalists: “The signing of contracts this week for these two projects proves that there is still strong demand in the Brazilian port sector and that it can contribute significantly to the recovery of the Brazilian economy.”
He said SEP expects CSN, which is also the joint owner of the nearby Sepetiba Tecon container terminal (along with Vale, the former CVRD), to invest Reais2.5 billion before the end of 2019. Sepetiba Tecon itself wants to renew its 25-year concession agreement - due to expire in seven years time – and talks are ensuing with SEP regarding this. The SEP minister also revealed that Vetria/Triunfo will spend Reais2.5 billion by December 2016 to develop their Santos site.
Araujo added: “It is the role of SEP to facilitate procedures in the port sector and ensure private investment in the expansion, modernisation and expansion of terminals. That's what we're doing right now, finalizing the anticipated renewals of leases and procurement of new leases. The two developments this week will help modernise our Brazilian ports, ensuring greater competitiveness.”
It will also keep his political mentor – President Dilma Rousseff – happy as Brazilians become more and more disillusioned with the Petrobras Lava-Jata (Car Wash) scandals and lack of investment in the port sector despite promises of more than US$10billion to be invested after the new port law was passed more than two years ago.
By PFI’s Brazil/South America correspondent