Finally the Brazilian National Waterway Transportation Agency (Antaq) approved on Monday, the privatization terms of the Santos Port Authority, the company that manages the Port of Santos. The project will now go to the Ministry of Infrastructure before being submitted to the Federal Audit Court (TCU).
According to Antaq, the concession contract’s term was set at 35 years, with the option of extending it for an additional five years in the event of an economic-financial imbalance.
According to the agency, the approved project calls for 6.3 billion Reais (US$ 1,2bn) in new investments, with 2.1 billion Reais going toward port infrastructure and 4.2 billion Reais toward constructing the underwater tunnel between Santos and the city of Guarujá.
The Port of Santos is the largest and busiest of Brazil, and the concession is part of President Jair Bolsonaro and Economy minister Paulo Guedes plans to attract direct foreign investment to Brazil, despite opposition from unions and lobbies. The overall operation including tender and anticipated investments is estimated at over 18,5 billion Reais, some 4 billion dollars.
The group which offers the largest bid, beginning at a floor set at 3,1 billion Reais, will be awarded the tender. The current administration of president Bolsonaro is intent in ensuring that the privatization process in completed this year, although not all government offices agree, because of market conditions and the presidential election next month. Nevertheless, many players in the game believe that getting TCU approval later this year would be a huge accomplishment.