Brazilian President announces R$54billion plan to modernise country’s ports

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has announced the launch of the Logistics Investment Program for Ports, a R$54billion scheme to encourage the modernisation of the management and infrastructure of the country’s ports, boost the expansion of private investment in the sector, decrease costs and increase efficiency.

“We want to inaugurate a new era with the modernization of infrastructure and port management,” President Rousseff said.

As part of the Logistics Investment Program, first launched in August for the Roads and Railways sectors, the new programme has been created to increase productivity gains and boost competitiveness in the country’s ports. 

The measures aim to establish a new regulatory framework for Brazilian ports with the goal to regulate pilotage services, increase access and entry to ports, make public announcements for applicants who wish to build Private Use Terminals (called TUPs in Portuguese), and expedite the process of leasing ports and issuing environmental licenses.

Other measures will focus on the improvement of the country’s port’s planning capacity, including an institutional reorganisation of the port sector and the establishment of logistic integration between transportation sectors.

The Secretariat of Ports of the Presidency of Brazil (SEP/PR) will be responsible for centralising port planning activities, as well as the management of sea ports, fluvial (river) ports and lake ports. The Ministry of Transport (MT) will be responsible for land and waterway-based transportation infrastructure.

Approximately R$54bn (about $26bn) will be invested in new leasing operations and Private Use Terminals, of which R$31bn ($14.9bn) will be invested by 2014/2015 and R$23.2bn ($11.2bn) by 2016/2017.

The ports to receive investments are in four different regions of Brazil – Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Itaguaí and Santos in the Southeast; Cabedelo, Itaqui, Pecém,  Suape, Aratu and Porto Sul/Ilhéus in the Northeast; Porto Velho, Santana, Manaus/Itacoatiara, Santarém, Vila do Conde and Belém/Miramar/Outeiro in the North; and Porto Alegre, Paranaguá/Antonina, São Francisco do Sul, Itajaí/Imbituba and Rio Grande in the South.

Also earmarked for investment is R$2.6bn ($1.25 billion) for waterway, road and railway access and for the shipyards at Brazil’s 18 main ports. Of this amount, R$1bn ($481 million) will be funded by Brazil’s Ministry of Transport and the rest will be funded mainly by Brazilian states and the private sector. This investment complements the ongoing activities currently included in other government programs, such as the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC).

In addition to President Rousseff, Thursday’s announcement ceremony was attended by Ministers Leônidas Cristino (of the SEP) and Paulo Sérgio Passos (Minister of Transport), the President of the Brazilian Logistics Planning Company (EPL), Bernardo Figueiredo, and other authorities of the Federal Government, Members of Parliament and representatives from port sector associations, unions and federations, together with business people who operate in the sector.