Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that the government will invest US$ 94 million (273 million reais) by 2006 to leave Brazil’s 11 main ports, responsible for 95% of the country’s maritime shipping, “in working order.”
According to Lula, the reforms will permit a US$ 10 billion increase in Brazil’s export volume. “Our ports weren’t prepared for the export demand that is occurring in Brazil.”
Lula reiterated, yesterday, that for the State to develop, it must invest simultaneously in highway, railway, and water transportation. He also announced that the government is already working to make Brazil’s railroads once again the country’s premier transportation system.
The President was speaking in Paulínia, in the interior of São Paulo, at a ceremony to mark the start of work on the Campinas-Rio Gas Pipeline.
President Lula also emphasized the need for Brazil to assign priority to projects for the use of biodiesel fuel and the revitalization of the São Francisco River, which crosses states in the Northeastern region.
According to the President, it is indispensable for the poorest part of the country to obtain benefits that the wealthier regions have already received.
“There are places where the market takes care of investments by itself, but there are places where it doesn’t. In these cases, only the State can do it,” he argued.
US$ 309.9 million (900 million reais) will be spent to build the 448 kilometer-long Campinas-Rio gas pipeline, which will traverse 32 municipalities (24 in the state of São Paulo and 8 in the state of Rio de Janeiro) to link the Planalto Refinery (Replan), in Paulínia (SP), to the municipality of Japeri (RJ).
The pipeline, which is scheduled to be completed in October, 2005, will have the capacity to transport 8.6 million cubic meters of gas daily.
Petrobras plans to invest more than US$ 3 billion on pipeline construction in Brazil between now and 2010, to consolidate the basic natural gas transportation network and expand the supply of this fuel in the country.
The gas pipeline network currently in operation covers 8,860 kilometers. 4,161 kilometers will be added, generating a 14% annual increase in the natural gas market through 2010.
Reporter: Ana Paula Marra
Translator: David Silberstein