The ceremony on 28 November symbolically marked the beginning of commercial operations, with large container vessels alongside the entire length of the quay to celebrate a new chapter in Brazilian port history.
In attendance, along with CM, the only European publication present, were some 500 guests including the country’s ports minister Antonio Henrique Silveira.
Since 2010 the facility has been a 50-50 joint venture between Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) and APM Terminals; the overall investment in the terminal exceeds R$2bn (US$859m).
The 490,000 sq. m facility is equipped with eight ship-to-shore cranes, 26 RTGs, 40 terminal trucks, and an automated 18-lane gate; it has a current capacity of 1.2m teu. The terminal will inject 40% more container terminal capacity into the congested Santos market.
The terminal represents both an innovative and an impressive, environmental turnaround story, solving a significant environmental liability – the Alemoa landfill in the port area – originally the responsibility of the Dock Company of the State of São Paulo. In 2007, BTP assumed the responsibility to remediate the area. New techniques were used in the soil remediation process, representing an investment of R$257m (US$110m).
Although fully equipped and operational since March, commercial operations could not begin until the terminal was issued International Ship and Port Facility Security Certification in April, and granted an operating license from the Brazilian Institute of Environmental and Renewable Natural resources in July. The first commercial vessel call took place on 14 August, and when the final dredging work is completed next month the terminal will be fully operational with 1,108 m of quay and 15 m depth, capable of serving three 9,200-teu capacity vessel calls simultaneously.
CEO Henry Robinson said: “The project introduced modern construction and design techniques, and high-tech systems and equipment. It builds on the strength of our highly-trained workforce and employs strict security standards that make BTP the largest and most modern container terminal in the country and now a member of the world’s leading ports.”
“We are grateful for the support of the Brazilian government in this project, and to our partners at TIL for their dedication and vision which made this new global shipping gateway to South America’s largest economy possible,” said APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer.