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Port of Santos terminal auctions delayed until 2023

Photo: Port of Santos Porto-de-Santos-out-2021.jpeg
Most of bidding processes initially scheduled for this year at the Brazilian Port of Santos will now only be held in 2023.

The terminal auctions that have been delayed include the concessions of STS10 mega container terminal, STS08 liquid bulk and fuels, and two Customs Bonded Dockside Terminals. The public notices on these privatisation processes will be ready in the second half of 2022.

In March, the Santos Port Authority, the organisation responsible for managing the Santos port complex, informed that six terminal auctions would be held in 2022.

However, out of this total, only one project got off the ground (STS11), and another (STS53) is scheduled to happen by December. The other four had to be rescheduled by the Ministry of Infrastructure (Minfra) for the first quarter of next year.

In the package of upcoming auctions, the mega container terminal STS10 was surrounded by most expectations as it had the highest investment forecast, $600m and a capacity of 1.9m teu.

The Port Authority stated that the terminal is crucial for the growth of the Port of Santos. “Containerised cargo throughput has been growing at double digits and has already reached almost the current capacity of the port complex,” reports SPA.

SPA said that the capacity of the port of Santos for this type of operation is 5.3m teu, and in 2021, the container throughput reached 4.8m teu. “If the port maintains this pace in the coming years, the existing capacity will not be enough. Thus, there is a pressing need to expand capacity for meeting the demand created by the flow of containers.”

In turn, the STS08 was up for auction in November last year but did not receive a bid.

The project will be re-submitted to the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU – Brazil) for the authorisation to re-issue a public notice. Minfra expects the auction to take place in the first quarter of 2023.

According to the Port Authority, the list of 11 auctions modelled since 2019 – six already carried out – adds up to $1.3bn in investments and collaborates with increasing capacity “for the Port of Santos to meet the cargo demands projected, which points to a 50% growth in cargo handling, reaching 240m tonnes per year”.

However, investment values may change until the notices are published by Antaq with the auction date set, as they are constantly updated.

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