The privatization of South America's largest port terminal complex, Santos in Brazil is advancing although slowly, but progressing. Infrastructure minister Marcelo Sampaio said that the required studies and legal papers for the privatization should be arriving at the Federal Court of Accounts no later than July 30th.
Privatization refers to the management of the terminal, currently under the Santos Port Authority, or Companhia Docas de Sao Paulo, Codesp. The different terminals inside the port's area have already been privatized.
Minister Sampaio expects the Accounts Court to approve the draft within 60 to 70 days, giving the National Waterway Transportation Agency (Antaq) enough time to publish the final notice and hold the auction by the end of the year. Such a process is being conducted at a shorter term than usual, typically 90 to 100 days.
“We have been working to complete the privatization of the Port of Santos by the end of this year, in December 2022. This is our auction forecast,” said Sampaio after going over the actions taken by the ministry during the Bolsonaro government.
The minister acknowledged that the deadline is tight but believes that the TCU will consider the public notice in 60 to 70 days because it has already approved the public notice used in the auction of the ports of Espírito Santo, which will serve as a model for Santos.
The auction of Companhia Docas do Espírito Santo (Codesa) was held in March, the first port privatization in the history of Brazil.
“We are counting on the TCU granting the necessary approval in 60 to 70 days, allowing the auction to be held this year after the opening of the public notice now at the end of the second semester,” he said.