Ports and Terminals

National ports secretary studies management options for the Port of Santos

Mar, 15, 2023 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202314

Fabrizio Pierdomenico took over the National Secretariat of Ports and Waterway Transport at the beginning of the month with the mission of developing an alternative to the Bolsonaro administration’s privatization policy, as well as proposing initiatives to improve the performance of Brazilian ports and eliminating logistical bottlenecks. He is already sketching management options for the Port of Santos and other national complexes in Brasilia.

Pierdomenico points out that the concept of a Port Authority is divided into two parts. “The first refers to State functions: supervision, security, and planning, for example. The other refers to maintenance. This is where dredging, land access, electricity, water, sewage, and building preservation come in. There are maintenance services that can be separated from the function of the State and left to the private sector. We are developing models for that.”

The national secretary for Ports sees two options for granting maintenance services to the private sector. One of them is the traditional concession. The other revolves around the establishment of a self-managing cooperative maintenance structure. That option was “heavily debated between 2017 and 2018,” according to Pierdomenico.

“Private operators would take responsibility for maintenance services, with governance. The plan did not prosper at the time because the concept of self-management could require changes to the current legislation. We are analyzing if the new bidding law would leave space for this. But, if it comes to it, we can change [the law] … The creation of a self-managing co-op structure seems to be very beneficial for the Port of Santos, as there are various players involved.”

See below a chart with data on exports and imports of containers from the Port of Santos between January 2019 and January 2023. The data is from DataLiner.

Export and import of containers – Porto de Santos | Jan 2019 – Jan 2023 | TEUs

Source: DataLiner (click here to request a demo)

If the Federal Government chooses this model, Pierdomenico believes a project could be drawn up by the end of 2023 if there is no need to change the law. On the other hand, if the concession format – with a State-owned Port Authority – is chosen, the period would be shorter, around six months, since the Ministry of Ports and Airports – under the command of Márcio França – already has a blueprint for this model.

Regarding the Santos-Guarujá tunnel, the national secretary guaranteed that, despite the State having manifested itself in favor of a public-private partnership (PPP), the dry connection will be funded with resources from the Santos Port Authority (SPA), manager from the port.

“There is enough cash flow for that. To give an idea, [SPA] has BRL 1.8 billion in cash and has now made around BRL 500 million, BRL 600 million in profit. Instead of being passed on as a whole to the port’s main shareholder, the Federal Government, the minister determined that this profit should be kept with the port authority to advance the tunnel project.”

According to the secretary, the Port of Paranaguá developed a concession contract for one of its access channels that already include its dredging. More details should be announced between the end of this semester and the start of the next. “Paranguá is a fantastic laboratory. The modeling is complete, and we are finalizing the analysis of the proposal by Infra S.A. I believe that in another 30 or 40 days, at the most, it will be presented in a public hearing”.

Source: A Tribuna

To read the full original article, please see: https://www.atribuna.com.br/noticias/portomar/fabrizio-pierdomenico-estuda-novos-modelos-de-gestao-para-o-porto-de-santos

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