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Port of Santos to be privatised this year

Photo: Port of Santos Porto-de-Santos-out-2021.jpeg
The Brazilian National Waterway Transportation Agency (Antaq) has approved the public consultation for the privatisation of the Port of Santos.

The concession contract for the largest port in Latin America will have a 35-year term, with a five-year renewal option.

The agency is accepting contributions between 31 January and 16 March, as well as putting together a public hearing with no set date yet.

The draft contract will be submitted to the Federal Court of Auditors for revision after the public consultation.

The company that is awarded the contract will be required to make $250m in mandatory investments. In addition, it will need to set aside approximately $550m to finance the construction of the Santos-Guarujá underwater tunnel.

The project is being designed to allow the transit of pedestrians, cars, and bicycles below the access channel for vessels to the Port of Santos. The funds will be transferred in three annual installments, 25% immediately after contracting, 35% in the second year and 40% in the third.

Eduardo Nery Machado Filho, Antaq’s general director, explained that the tunnel will be built independently of the port’s new administration, and will require a new bidding process to select new investors.

Machado Filho stated that the process of privatising the port of Santos entails more than just saving resources that will be redirected to the tunnel. “It’s like killing two birds with one stone. The sale of a state-owned company, and a port administration public service concession”, he said.

Works to increase the access channel depth will cost $130m. The port will have its draft increased from 15 to 17 metres until 2033 to welcome larger vessels and other $36.4m will be redirected to modernising works of the port’s structure or to improve city-port relations.

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