The ships will dock at a new facility, Brasil Terminal Portuaria (BTP), to be developed by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) at a cost of 1.6 billion Brazilian reals (approximately US$655.7 million at the current exchange rate). Construction will begin this coming February or March, according to “company executives” interviewed by the Santos-based newspaper.
The largest container vessels now calling Santos and other Brazilian ports on a regular basis are Hamburg Süd’s 5,900-TEU Rio-class.
The port authority, Companhia Docas do Estado de São Paulo (CODESP), is preparing to deepen the main channel to accommodate 9,000-TEU vessels.
The BTP terminal will occupy 292,000 sq m (72.2 acres) on the port’s right bank leased by CODESP to Europe Terminal Brasil Participação Ltd, a venture of the MSC Group, which controls BTP.
First phase development will give the terminal three berths with a total length of 1,109 m (3,638.5 feet) and alongside depth of 17 m (55.8 feet) at mean low water. The first berth will be ready in 2011, but terminal operations will begin the following year when the other two berths are completed. Throughput capacity will be 1.1 million TEUs per year.
In 2007, the port handled a record 2.5 million TEUs. Volume for the first nine months of 2008 was up 4.4% from a year ago, thanks in great part to a surge of Asian imports.