Southern Brazil's Largest Port Gets US$ 60-Million Revamp

The Port of Paranaguá (in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná), the largest port in the south of Brazil, will receive an investment of US$ 60 million for the expansion of the Western wharf.

The order for execution of the first phase of the works was signed May 24 by the governor of the state of Paraná, Roberto Requião. In this initial phase, investment will total US$ 12 million.

The funds will be applied, initially, in the remodelling of the existing wharf - to receive new equipment, making it possible for the future docking of large vessels. The initial project also includes the increase of the draft of the port.

The current drafts are approximately 8.7 meters, 10.7 meters and 12.7 meters. The overall draft will be increased to 13.7 meters, which will permit the docking of vessels to up to 90 tons - vessels of the Panamax and Post-Panamax category - whatever the tides. The current draft does not permit the manoeuvre of vessels of this size when the tide is low.

The total port expansion schedule is three years, of which two will be for initial works. The project also includes the expansion of the width of the port area, to 820 meters, which will increase by one-third the port's capacity to receive ships.

The expansion is going to be managed by company CR Almeida and the funds will be provided by the Paranaguá and Antonina Ports Administration (Appa), which belongs to the state of Paraná.

The estimated cost, which was initially estimated at US$ 176 million, was reduced to US$ 60 million after an Appa revision.

Between 2003 and 2004, according to the available figures, the cargo movement in Paranaguá dropped 3.3%, falling from 33.6 million tons to 32.5 million.

This was caused by a reduction in foreign sales of grain. Revenues, however, rose to US$ 8.4 billion, due to the positive performance of exports of manufactured and semi-manufactured products.

Omar Nasser works for the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná.

ANBA - Brazil-Arab News Agency - www.anba.com.br

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