Brazil Solicits Public Opinion on Ports Privatization

Public hearings are to be held by Brazil's National Water Transport Agency, ANTAQ, on February 7th and 10th concerning the planned concessions for the port of Sao Sebastiao and port of Santos, respectively. These hearings improve the technical and legal documents associated with the bidding process by enabling potential stakeholders to provide suggestions.

Changes are being made to attract investors; for example, recently, Brazil's Ministry of Infrastructure issued an ordinance approving a sizable expansion of the port boundaries. This expansion almost doubled the dry area available for the port of Santos. Before this expansion, 95% of the operational area for the port of Santos was occupied with little room for development. The term for concession, once granted, for the port of Sao Sebastiao will be 25 years with a proposed minimum fee of about $6.2 million and a required investment of about $620,000. The period for public consultation for the port of Sao Sebastiao is till February 9th. The concession for port of Santos will be for 35 years, extendable by 5 years. The value of infrastructure investment in the port to be made during the contract term is about $3 billion. The public consultation period for the Port of Santos is till March 16th.

One of the primary goals of the Brazilian government is to double investment in infrastructure to about $65 billion by 2022. A large portion of this investment is expected to come from foreign investors, hence the government's concerted efforts to attract foreign investment. The current port privatization initiative aims to realize the potential of ports and the subsequent value they can provide to the economy.

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