The equipment, which arrived last week and is expected to become operational by March 2012, is part of a Reais160m (US$88.6m) terminal expansion project for TS which is booming. In 2010, 237,500 teu were handled with 250,000 teu forecast for this year, confirming Salvador as Brazil’s ninth biggest container port.
Demir Lourenco Jnr., Tecon Salvador’s terminal manager, said that the new ZPMC cranes have a 60 m long boom and the RTGs are “the first of their kind in South America” as in that they are 100% electric-powered. He told CM: “Our aim is to become greener and to reduce emissions and we calculate that we will save 26,000 trees by going electric with these RTGs.
“We are also reinforcing some of the quay areas so that the three new gantries can be transferred to the new quay that should be ready by March.”
Lourenco added that the TS expansion will provide an extra 44,000 sq m space and 167 m of quay to total 118,000 sq m and a quay length of 377 m. 150 reefer plugs will also be added to give TS a total of 650. 80% of the expansion costs for are coming from a World Bank loan and the rest from Wilson,Sons’ own resources.
The entrance channel to the Port of Salvador has already been dredged down to 15 m under the Brazilian government’s Programme to Accelerate the Economy (PAC) scheme and TS is to pay a Brazilian dredging company around Reais10m to dredge alongside the new berth. This dredging cannot go ahead until reinforcement of the quay area has been carried out, for fear of subsidence.
An abundance of boxes
“All these improvements have come at just the right time as this year we are pretty much hitting our maximum capacity,” added Lourenco. “Now we can go after more cargo.”
Container growth has come on the back of a Bahia state economy growing at around 11% in recent years (compared to Brazil’s growth of between 4% and 6% over the same period). Growth has been especially strong in the car manufacturing sector: Ford has a large factory at nearby Camacari, and JAC Motors of China is setting up a new plant there that will start production in 2013. In addition, Bridgestone, Pirelli and Braschem petro-chemicals also have a strong presence in Bahia.
Lourenco explained that the arrival of new equipment and dredging is likely to lead to the capture of around 40,000 teu that currently leave Salvador by truck to pick up deep-sea connections (mostly to/from Asia) from other ports in the south of Brazil, particularly Santos, which is 1,800 kms away.
Today, while S handles all the boxes that move through the Port of Salvador, it wasn’t always the case. TS made an agreement with rival stevedoring company Intermaritima back in 2008 , with the latter taking a 7.5% equity share in TS, allowing it to start using the areas previously operated by In