The Brazilian Port of Pecém, in the state of Ceará, has announced a plan that could make it the main hub port for the country’s northeast. In March, Rotterdam Port Authority (HbR) signed an MoU with the State Government of Ceará, aimed at exploring potential cooperation in developing Pecém’s industrial port complex (CIPP), in which HbR may take a stake (similar to the Sohar model).
Danilo Serpa, president of the Cearáportos authority, stated that, as a common user port, Pecém can charge more competitive tariffs, and is exempt from having to use casual labour. It also has an extensive port area that is far removed from the city’s residential districts, and is close to industrial areas. Serpa remains convinced that logistics will be the main growth driver, especially now that the expanded Panama Canal can handle larger bulk carriers, which Pecém can easily accommodate.
Traffic growth has been averaging 27% annually in the past few years, and last year Pecém handled 11.2 Mt, up 60% over 2015. Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP), a Vale, Dongkuk and Posco joint venture, accounts for
32% of all movement in the port. However, CSP only began operating in mid-2016, so growth should continue into 2017 and further ahead, even on the most conservative forecasts up to 2030. CSP’s US$4.32B investment in the
northeast is the largest of any private-sector company.
On a negative note, Brazil’s environmental protection body, Ibama, has fined Cearáportos US$4.32M in respect of an incident in April that saw coal accidentally washed up onto nearby beaches. The fine was broken down into
three segments. The biggest tranche relates to the cost of clean-up, although Ibama included an exemplary fine element because the operator failed to report the incident and file a detailed report to a federal body (i.e. Ibama).