A Brazil Port Terminal (BTP) had its lease contract at the Port of Santos renewed for more than 20 years and foresees, in return until 2047, an investment of R$1.9 billion in the container terminal.
This is one of the largest private investments in port infrastructure in Brazil in the last decade.
The company’s priority will be to increase the terminal’s operational capacity by 40% with the expansion of the pier, which will receive four new STS (ship to shore crane/portêiner), totaling 12 pieces of equipment, in addition to new fenders. At the same time, container storage capacity will be expanded, with emphasis on the “reefer” area, which will increase from the current 2,128 to around 3,500 refrigerated outlets. Another 27 tire-mounted cranes and 46 trailers will also be purchased tractor terminal.
“We still have options for another R$2 billion in investments to be discussed with the government. The problem is that for Renewing the contract with the government took more than three years, a long process. In 2021, we were in the Bolsonaro government with a vision. Three years later, we are in the Lula government. In two years, when we start working with new investments, it will be an election year and Lula can continue or any other candidate can come. Money has no political party, it invests and adapts. We invest in the country and hope for a clearer vision of where to go”, comments Patrício Júnior, director of terminal investments at Terminal Investment Limited (TiL) and president of the Board of Directors of Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP).
The sector representative defends a long-term planning with goals for the sectorwith approval by the National Congress as State policy, independent of presidential management, to bring more security, predictability to investments in the private sector and less bureaucracy in the execution of works fundamental to the country’s development.
“Any government should not change something that is discussed, talked about, worked on with society. Within the federal government there is Infra, which is a technical body that takes care of planning in the area of infrastructure. In my opinion, Infra should develop work both in the area of ports and highways, among others, that would be a 5, 10 or 15 year MasterPlan, independent of the government in power. The government would only execute a long-term investment plan for a nation”, argues the investor.
According to him, the plan should be approved by the National Congress with the possibility of partial changes by government officials, guaranteeing the maintenance of the project as a whole. “This should have been done a long time ago in Brazil. Without this, problems of ‘pulsadinhos’ begin with governments that one moment pull the boat to the right and another time go to the left”, says Júnior.
The current scenario results in insecurity for investments, which consequently generate higher prices. “The difficulty for foreign investors is not knowing where the boat is going, but whether tomorrow it will still be in the same direction. All insecurity leads to a higher rate of return”, comments the director, who also makes the point that Instability is not a problem exclusive to Brazil.
“It’s like that everywhere, including in the United States. In some places the problem is a little smaller and in others the problem is bigger. In Brazil, I would say it is average. We missed the opportunity to be a little ahead. This can happen if we invest more in infrastructure, which is the individual’s bodily health. If everything is working, he could be an athlete,” she points out.
Júnior considers that many brilliant ideas in the area of infrastructure are beginning to be implemented, but public works stall for decades and projects never get off the ground. As an example, the chairman of the board of BTP confirms the company’s interest in investing in the STS10 area in a container terminal to expand the capacity of the Port of Santos with a projected investment of between R$3 billion and R$4 billion. “Money exists, will exists and the market is attractive. Let’s do it? I don’t know”, responds the investor when remembering the insecurity in the market as a result of political movements.
“The company had plans during the management of Tarcísio de Freitas at the Ministry of Infrastructure, in the Bolsonaro government, for investment in the Port of Santos in STS 10. In the new government, the administration passed to the port authority, which argues that there is no need for the STS 10 with investment in other locations. Was a study done on this, an impact analysis or was the decision made by someone who simply thinks it shouldn’t be done? When we invest money, we think about all this”, he adds.
According to the Santos Port Authority (APS), the port receives more than 5 million containers per year in private terminals, which have capacity estimated to be sufficient until 2030.