Gov’t to prioritize waterway transportation in Brazil

Jul, 25, 2022 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202230

The BR dos Rios project, which aims to encourage waterway transportation in Brazil, is one of the Federal Government’s priorities for this year. Mário Povia, the national secretary of ports, revealed that one of the main challenges he faces as the head of the agency that is part of the Ministry of Infrastructure is devising a program that converts navigable rivers into canals for cargo transit.

“In addition to meeting the standards set by the Federal Court of Accounts, it is vital to consider who our partners will be, where we will get the finances, and how to develop a project in agreement with what the regulatory agency says in the general grant plan,” explains Povia.

According to the secretary, structuring the model requires “a lot of perspiration and inspiration.” However, in addition to a prepared team, the Government has support from important sectors of society. In a forum last month, the Minister of Infrastructure, Marcelo Sampaio, said that BR dos Rios will be up to vote in Congress later this year.

Povia explains that, in addition to the National Secretariat of Ports and Waterway Transportation, the Ministry of Infrastructure sees the proposal for the BR dos Rios as a priority. “We are going to focus on the BR dos Rios, focusing on the waterway theme. Minister Marcelo Sampaio is very committed to this, and so are we.”

Therefore, the Federal Government is racing against time to advance with this new public policy. “We intend to step on the gas, leaving ready models of public-private partnerships (PPP), concessions, and possibly mixed concessions of road or rail sections with waterways to begin working on the logistics corridor concept, always thinking holistically about how to solve some of the cargo flow obstacles.”

Povia classifies the projects carried out by the Federal Government on the country’s railways as “transformative.” However, the idea to increase waterway transportation in Brazil is to focus on multimodality and “transform rivers into navigable waterways the entire year, day and night, allowing for a perennial management.”

Povia mentions that the country has important waterways, such as Tietê-Paraná and Paraná-Paraguay, but it is looking into further options. “There is a project already underway with the government of Uruguay which is to integrate Lagoa Mirim with Lagoa dos Patos,” he details, mentioning the waterway in Rio Grande do Sul with the potential to reduce freight transport costs within the Mercosur bloc, with the Port o Rio Grande as its central hub.


The director of the National Waterway Transportation Agency (Antaq), Flávia Takafashi, reports that the agency participates directly in the debate on the BR dos Rios through the Federal Agency’s Superintendence of Regulation and Grants. “It is a process led by the ministry, but the agency’s data subsidize the market information.”

According to the director, Antaq monitors the process and flags regulatory problems and areas that need improvement. “To effectively develop the waterway market, which has significant navigation potential in Brazil.”

Source: A Tribuna

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