Brazil's Itaqui Port to Undergo $3 Bln Expansion Over 20 Years

By MarEx 2013-04-05 10:47:00

* EMAP hopes port will move 150 mln tns cargo per year in 2030

* Brazil ports said to be among world's slowest, most costly

(Reuters) - The company administering Brazil's Itaqui port said on Thursday it plans to invest 6.3 billion reais ($3.13 billion) in expansion over 20 years to increase cargo-moving capacity ten-fold as Brazil faces criticism that its ports are inadequate.

Itaqui, strategically located on Brazil's northeast coast and closer to Europe and the United States than the country's southern ports, moved 15.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2012.

By 2030, it hopes to handle 150 million tonnes per year, said Luiz Carlos Fossati, president of the Maranhense Port Administration Co (Emap), in an interview.

The company plans to invest 1.4 billion reais in Itaqui by 2016, he said.

Brazil's National Transport Confederation has said the country's ports are among the slowest and most costly in the world, due partly to lack of investment.

President Dilma Rousseff announced late last year a $26 billion plan to modernize the country's public ports. Brazil, an agricultural superpower, has had trouble making timely export deliveries of this season's record soybean crop.

($1 = 2.014 reais)

--Reporting by Roberta Vilas Boas; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky