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Privatisation postponed – Port of Itajaí, Brazil

Photo: Port of Itajai View of the Port of Itajai in Brazil
The planned privatisation of the Port of Itajaí, on Brazil’s north coast of Santa Catarina, has been postponed for at least two years.

The port will continue under municipal management until 2025 as the government is not able to release the privatisation notice on time, Brazilian media report.

The complex is, since 2003, the second in terms of container throughput in the country, behind only the Port of Santos.

The Ministry of Infrastructure postponed the privatisation notice launch, which will give the municipality control over the port for two more years starting from January 2023. In addition to confirming the extension of the contract, the municipal authorities said they will request adjustments to it and reinforce attempts to strengthen local port activity.

“With the end of the delegation in December of this year, it is essential that we confirm the extension of this agreement between the Federal Government and the Municipality so that we can continue to manage the Port of Itajaí for another two years while the privatisation notice is concluded,”  said the mayor of Itajaí, Volnei Morastoni.

“Furthermore, Itajaí will respond to the request of the Ministry of Infrastructure to guarantee the continuity of port activities and the development of our city, region, and Santa Catarina. Our Port is an essential part of the economy of the State, as well as of Brazil, and cannot be affected by this situation.”

Documents will be presented to the National Secretariat of Ports and Waterway Transport for renewing the present agreement with the municipality but will request the elimination of a resolutive clause that ensures the length of the contract for the following two years with no option to terminate it earlier.

According to the port, this is required to provide security to port operators so they can comfortably maintain operations and search for new lines in the Port of Itajaí during the transition time until the process of the new exploratory model is completed. The exclusion would also avoid issues created by potential logistical instability.

Currently, the Itajaí Port Complex is responsible for more than 70% of Santa Catarina’s trade flow and almost 5% of the national flow ($16bn per year), in addition to possessing the greater infrastructure capacity for refrigerated cargo in the country.

The agreement for the delegation of the Port of Itajaí to the municipality ends on 31 December 2022. However, the public notice, scheduled to be released later this year, was postponed, and the municipal management will be renewed for the next two years, that is, until December 2024.


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