Posted on November 1, 2023
Brazilian minister of Ports and Airports Silvio Costa Filho, announced the termination of the Investment Partnership Program (PPI), which had originally set the conditions for the privatization of the management of the Port of Santos.
The decision was met with enthusiasm by employees of the Santos Port Authority (APS), as well as by labor unions and regional leaders. As a result, the APS will keep control of the largest port in the southern hemisphere.
Costa Filho also outlined a strategy to attract private capital for investments, emphasizing the use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). A noteworthy example is the Santos-Guarujá tunnel project, which will receive funding from the federal government’s Growth Acceleration Program (the new PAC). The minister projects a total investment of R$13.4 billion in the Port of Santos over the next eight to ten years.
Among the investments, R$400 million will be allocated to key projects such as the Perimeter Road on the port’s Left Bank. Additionally, a substantial sum of R$6 billion will be dedicated to dredging operations. These initiatives will be carried out through PPPs, reflecting the minister’s positive outlook on projects aimed at enabling commercial flights from the Metropolitan Airport of Guarujá. A meeting with State Deputy Caio França explored the extension of the port’s boundaries to encompass São Vicente. This extension will encourage ancillary port activities and the implementation of waterways.
Another accomplishment announced by the minister was the delegation of authority to the Port Authority to bid, manage, and decide on concessions and other measures that have previously depended on decisions made in Brasília. This delegation addresses a longstanding concern in the port community, where critical decisions affecting the Port of Santos were historically made over a thousand kilometers away from the coast.
Furthermore, Minister Costa Filho endorsed a Cooperation Agreement between the APS and the Santos City Hall. This agreement facilitates the sharing of surveillance camera footage throughout the port complex and its access points. This initiative promises to enhance security and enforcement under the purview of local authorities.
During the same ceremony, the minister also witnessed the signing of an agreement between the City Hall and APS. This agreement secures a transfer of R$40 million, earmarked for the development of Parque Valongo. The park is set to occupy 30,000 square meters of previously abandoned warehouse space and serve as a hub for tourism and culture.
During a visit to Santos and before meeting with workers’ unions, Costa Filho addressed hundreds of APS employees to confirm the end of the privatization threat facing the century-old company. The minister received applause from APS employees.
The minister’s visit was accompanied by the National Secretary of Ports and Airports, Mariana Pescatori, the Mayor of Santos, Rogério Santos, the Mayor of Guarujá, Válter Sumam, and several federal deputies, including Paulo Alexandre Barbosa, Rosana Valle, and David Soares, among other authorities.
Costa Filho visited the Santos-Brasil Terminal, where he was welcomed by CEO Antônio Carlos Sepúlveda and the Director of Port Operations, Roberto Teller.
Anderson Pomini, the President of APS, expressed his gratitude to the minister for his attention to the Port of Santos and for the investments that will benefit port operators, workers, and the population of Baixada Santista. “The minister’s actions will further enhance the growth of the Port of Santos, generating jobs and wealth for Brazil,” said Pomini following Costa Filho’s visit. By the end of the day, an agreement was reached with the Brazilian Association of Cabotage Shipowners (Abac) to facilitate a reduction in tariffs for coastal navigation vessels at the Port of Santos.