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Privatisation of port of Itajaí to be reviewed

Photo: Port of Itajai View of the Port of Itajai in Brazil
Brazil’s Federal Government will review the privatisation of the Port of Itajaí, located on the Northern coast of Santa Catarina state, despite the TCU audit court’s recent seal of approval to continue the process.

Currently, the port authority for the Port of Itajaí is in the hands of the municipal administration, as it has been since 1997. The concession contract, due to expire in December 2022, was extended for up to two years due to delays in the port privatisation.

“Thus, the pace in which modernisation works will be implemented and investments enacted will be even greater thanks to the priority the new Federal Government gives to the ports,” says the minister of ports and airports, Marcio Franca.

The terminal’s privatisation plan foresaw investments of around $177m in the first three years of the concession. The Ministry of Ports and Airports is still evaluating the best way to ensure that the necessary investments in the Port of Itajaí are met, either directly or through partnerships with the private sector.

APM Terminals, which manages the port’s private berths, is working on attracting the container lines lost between December 2022 and January this year.

The city hall of Itajaí created a working group to deal with the port’s situation and looking to continue with the privatisation process. The working group includes representatives of unions linked to port workers, business associations, city councilors, and other municipal authorities.

“Our intention is to ask the Federal government to expedite the terminal auction so that port operations are secured, and we can resume port growth,” said Itajaí Mayor Volnei Morastoni.