Brazil Expands the Boundaries of Port of Santos Ahead of Privatization

port of santos
Port of Santos (file image)

Published Jan 30, 2022 1:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

Brazil’s government is ramping up an initiative to privatize the Port of Santos, the largest seaport in Latin America. Last week, Brazil’s Ministry of Infrastructure (MINfra) issued an ordinance approving a significant expansion of the port boundaries, nearly doubling the dry area of the Port of Santos. It 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 percent of the operational area for the Port of Santos was occupied. The expansion is part of the government’s plan to privatize ports in Brazil; it is intended to add value and sharpen the interest of stakeholders in the ports.

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

“The Concession period will be 35 years, renewable for up to 5 years. The planned investments total $2 billion over the contractual term. The initial grant amount will be $250 million,” ANTAQ said in a statement.

This follows several weeks after ANTAQ approved a bidding notice for the Dock Company of Espirito (Codesa), which oversee the Ports of Barra do Riacho and Vitoria. Effectively, it commences the privatization of the two ports - a first-of-its-kind project in Brazil’s shipping history. The concession agreement will also be valid for 35 years and renewable for another five years, and it is expected to bring in $60 million in private investments.

“With the privatization of Codesa, it is expected that the Port of Vitoria will double the movement of cargo from 7 million tons to 14 million tons per year. For the Barro do Riacho port terminal, the expectation is to explore new areas, as 522,000 square meters, out of the total 860 thousand square meters, are greenfield,” Antaq said.