The initial step toward that goal comes on December 1, 2008 when construction begins on Terminal de Multiplas Utilitades (TMU). The multi-purpose facility will occupy an area “equivalent to six soccer fields” (approximately 16 acres or 6.5 hectares) and employ up to 700 workers. Investment cost is estimated at Reais350m (US$152m).
TMU is the first of four phases in an ambitious port expansion project that will entail a total investment of Reais2.3bn through to year 2016. The state government says expansion is needed to provide logistical support for major new industrial facilities, including a steel mill, refinery, and a thermal energy plant that will boost electrical generating power from 974 to 2254 megawatts by 2014.
Maersk subsidiary APM Terminals, assumed operational and management responsibility for Ceará Terminal Operator (CTO), the port’s stevedoring and container terminal operating company in spring this year. CTO provides stevedoring services to MSC, Maersk Line, Mercosul, CCL and Maruba among other shipping lines and local customers. In 2007, Pecém’s container throughput totalled 143,667 teu, up from 117,934 teu in 2006.