Port of Santa Catarina invests R$ 1 billion to receive the largest ships in the world, measuring up to 400 meters

Port of Santa Catarina invests R$ 1 billion to receive the largest ships in the world, measuring up to 400 meters
Port of Santa Catarina invests R$ 1 billion to receive the largest ships in the world, measuring up to 400 meters

Owner of authorization to operate the largest container terminal in southern Brazil, in Port of Navegantesin Santa Catarina, and only smaller than those in Santos (SP), the Portonave In January, work costing R$1 billion began on its pier. The investment aims to make the harbor capable of receiving ships up to 400 meters long, which are the largest in circulation transporting cargo around the world. This space can fit almost four Maracanã lawns and 24 thousand TEUs, the unit of measurement equivalent to a 20-foot container (6.09 meters), the industry standard.

To get an idea of ​​the size of these ships, on Thursday, the 1st, they disembarked at the Port of Santos the largest freighter that has ever arrived in the country, the MSC Natasha XIII, built in 2018, 366 meters long, and with a capacity of 14,400 TEUs. Last week, it was also news the beginning of the Icon of the Seas voyagethe largest cruise ship in the world, measuring 365 meters, which left Miami, Florida, on Saturday the 27th. Vale, in recent years, has started to operate super ore ships, which are bulk carriers capable of supporting more weight than a container vessel, but which do not exceed 362 meters in length.

At Portonave, in Navegantes, the largest ship to ever dock was the APL Yangshan, from shipowner CMA CGM, measuring 347 m in length and with a capacity of 10,800 TEUs. “This is our current capacity. We need to enable our terminal to receive the generation of 366 meter ships. So, we are already adapting it to up to 400 meters”, says the superintendent director of Portonave, Osmari de Castilho Ribas. “The 400-meter ships should not arrive in the short term, but we have to look at the long term. We have terminal authorization, not a concession or lease, and it renews automatically every 25 years.” Portonave began operating in 2007, as the first private container terminal in the country.

The current works, the largest since the beginning of his business, are expected to take 27 months and will be carried out in two phases. While one side, 450 meters long, of the port will be under construction, the other will continue to operate normally, so as not to severely compromise activities. “This market requires permanent investments in infrastructure”, says Ribas. The Port of Santos is also in an investment cycle to allow the docking of 400-meter ships.

Works at the Port of Navegantes to expand capacity should last 27 months Photograph: ANDERSON COELHO / ESTADÃO

Works like these involve not only the port infrastructure, but also require dredging to deepen the channels, as larger vessels also have a greater draft – the part of the hull that is submerged.

According to information from the Ministry of Ports and Airportscurrently 19 Brazilian ports are able to receive ships longer than 300 meters – including Santos, Navegantes, Paranaguá, Pecém, Fortaleza, Suape and Açu -, in addition to some waterway terminals of Transpetro, a Petrobras subsidiary for logistics and transport.

The Port of São Sebastião (SP), for example, does not yet receive ships of this length, however, in the modeling for its future leasing, investment is planned for the construction of a new berth that will be capable of receiving ships of up to 400 meters, informs the Ministry. The Port of Rio de Janeiro began dredging in December that will allow it to receive 366-meter ships. The Port of Fortaleza Docas (CE), which currently receives vessels of up to 300 meters, has contracted studies to indicate feasibility and what works will need to be carried out to increase capacity.

All these possible investments will benefit from the renewal until 2028 of the Tax Regime to Incentive the Modernization and Expansion of the Port Structure (Report)announced by the government on Tuesday, 23. The program could represent a relief of up to R$5 billion over a period of five years, according to the Minister of Ports and Airports, Silvio Costa Filho.

Implemented in 2004, the Report exempts companies from paying the Tax on Industrialized Products (IPI), the Contribution to PIS/Pasep, the Contribution to Social Security Financing (Cofins) and Import Tax. The forecast was that the tax benefits would be extinguished last year.

Port of Navegantes was responsible for around 15% of container movement in Brazil last year Photograph: ANDERSON COELHO / ESTADÃO

“This extension was important for investments to take place, even so as not to inhibit contributions. Around the world, investments in infrastructure are not taxed. This is even the backbone of the tax reform”, says the director-president of the Brazilian Association of Port Terminals (ABTP), Jesualdo Conceição da Silva. “Furthermore, Reporto has an impact of less than 1% on federal fiscal spending.”

For ABTP, these incentives are necessary for investments in the port sector to reach the target of R$54.8 billion, by 2026, foreseen in the new Growth Acceleration Program (PAC). Around R$44 billion of this value would be related to private investments.

Operations in Navegantes

Portonave has been fully controlled, since 2017, by the Swiss maritime transport company MSC. That year, through its subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), the European company purchased the 50% stake in Portonave that belonged to the Brazilian group Triunfo Participações e Investimentos.

In 2001, Portonave gained authorization to operate the Port of Navegantes, the largest private port terminal in the country, second only to the Port of Santos terminals. Between January and November 2023, it represented 15.4% of the container handling market in Brazil, according to consultancy specialized in the maritime modal Datamar.

To achieve this, the port handled 1.3 million TEUs throughout the year, which represented a 10% growth compared to 2022. The record result for the terminal was achieved even after the heavy rains that occurred in the South, in October and November, forced the operation to be interrupted for more than 20 days.

In exports, Portonave recorded the third largest movement of the year, behind Santos and Paranaguá, and, in imports, it was second only to Santos. China and the United States were both the main destinations for exports and the origins of imports. The podium was completed by Mexico, in exports, and Colombia, in imports.

Last year, the main export products were wood and its derivatives (41%), frozen meat and its derivatives (32%) and paper (5%). When importing, Portonave received mainly plastics and derivatives (17%), textiles (11%) and machinery (10%), much of which was used by the industry in Santa Catarina.

In addition to containers, Portonave moved special cargo, such as engines, boats and even planes. There were three operations using Swedish Gripen F-39 fighters, ordered by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The proximity, just a 10-minute journey, to Navegantes Airport made it possible to choose the port to receive these cargoes.

The article is in Portuguese

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