Brazil: Dredging to Bring Bigger Vessels to BTP
The MSC Challenger on the Gulf Service became the first container ship to call Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP), the newest terminal at the Port of Santos, when it berthed August 14th and the 5,700 TEU MSC Adriatic on the Ipanema service called the following day with 535 moves handled for load and discharge.
“Our cranes, operating systems, scanners, gates and road access for truckers worked perfectly,” commented Henry Robinson, BTP’s CEO.
The MSC Challenger is 233 meters in length, with a draft of 9.9 meters. Under the current draft limitations, BTP can only handle vessels with a draft of up to 11.2 meters due to the navigation channel (called section 4) water depth. Once the dredging is completed the terminal can accommodate three vessels up to 9,200 TEU capacity simultaneously, with a 15 meter draft, representing today’s world-class port standards. The majority of strings calling in Brazil ports require 15 meter draft.
Although the 490,000 square meter (121 acres) terminal has been fully equipped and ready to receive vessels since March, phase one (400 meters quay and supporting container yard facilities) operating licenses were officially issued in July, and full operations will have to wait until the contracted dredging has been completed by the authorities, now scheduled for October 2013.
“On August 1 we applied for phase 2 operating licenses for BTP which will allow us to extend the quay another 708 meters and build out the rest of the container yard. Our expectation is this government approval process will move quickly since we already have phase one licensing done. BTP is an economic engine that will create 9,000 new local jobs so we are optimistic that expanded terminal operations will be achieved soon and the Brazilian economy will be the benefactor” stated Mr. Tiemen Meester, chairman of BTP.
APM Terminals established a 50% share in BTP in August of 2010 with joint venture partner TIL, which operates the facility. Development of the new multi-purpose terminal began in 2007, and will provide annual throughput capacity of 1.2 million TEUs and 1.4 million tons of liquid bulk cargo as well as 1,108 meters of quay when fully operational, representing an overall investment of USD $1 billion.
The Port of Santos is the busiest container port in South America handling approximately 3 million TEUs in 2012, representing 25% of Brazil’s foreign trade. Brazil, with a GDP of USD $2.4 trillion, is South America’s largest economy, and the 7th-largest in the world.
The APM Terminals’ Global Terminal Network in South America also includes operating terminals at Itajai and Pecém, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Callao, Peru, the busiest container port on the West Coast of South America.
Press Release, August 26, 2013