BRAZIL: The state of Santa Catarina is to build two railways to handle agricultural and industrial traffic. Governor Carlos Moisés signed work orders authorising construction of both projects on October 27.

The larger project is a 319 km line running on an approximately east-west alignment from Chapecó to Correia Pinto in the fruit and wine-producing area known as the Planalto Caterinense. Up to 20 million tonnes of freight a year is expected, mainly consisting of agricultural produce. The line will also carry traffic from Santa Catarina to Brazil’s southeastern and mid-western markets with cargo rates expected to be lower than road transport.

The second line is a 62 km route connecting Araquari at the southern extremity of the Baia da Babitonga to the port of Itajaí. This ‘Interportos’ route is expected to handle up to 15 million tonnes a year of containers and industrial traffic.

‘Infrastructure is one of this government’s main emblems because we know that it is vital for producers and developers and it improves people’s lives’, the governor said.

Thiago Vieira, Santa Catarina’s Secretary of State for Infrastructure & Mobility, noted that signature of the work orders for the two projects meant that the state’s most important port complex would be connected to the federal rail network, which would also gain from agribusiness traffic. There would be ‘important gains for the logistics of producers’, he said.

Santa Catarina is also planning to reopen 594 km of moribund route and to build a further 770 km of new lines, taking the length of the state network to nearly 2 110 km. Construction will be accompanied by building of four intermodal terminals and other works.