BRAZIL: Santos Port Authority has chosen a consortium of Ferrovia Centro Atlântica, MRS Logística and Rumo to manage the port’s 100 km internal rail network. All three operators already run freight trains to and from the port.

The consortium was given 45 days from the announcement on October 17 to present an operational transition plan, which will in turn need to be implemented within 90 days. A formal contract with the authority is expected to be signed before the end of the year.

The port authority intends to award a 35-year concession to manage, operate, maintain and expand the network. The concessionaires will be required to invest R$891m over the next five years to more than double capacity from around 50 million tonnes a year to 115 million tonnes. According to SPA, the rail network is currently operating at 94% of its nominal capacity.

Modernisation and expansion work is expected to start as soon as the executive projects have been approved. Specific elements will include:

  • development of the yard between channel four and Ponta da Praia, and the aying of three tracks to serve the cellulose pulp terminals;
  • construction of viaducts to allow closure of the level crossing in the 4-Marinha channel region;
  • provision of pedestrian walkways between channel four and Ponta da Praia;
  • provision on the ‘Pera’ railway of two viaducts and a footbridge in the Outeirinhos region;
  • new access to the second port entrance on the right bank of the Santos estuary in Saboó.

The Santos port rail network is at present run by Portofer, whose concession is being terminated early.