Other Logistics

New Minas Gerais terminal turns Norte-Sul Railway into sugar outlet

Jun, 09, 2022 Posted by Gabriel Malheiros

Week 202223

The Norte-Sul Railway officially started to transport sugar this Thursday (June 9) with the inauguration of a road-rail terminal in Iturama (MG), which also marks the entry of Rumo, the concessionaire responsible for the railway, into the Minas Gerais market.

Rumo and Usina Coruripe, one of the country’s largest sugar and ethanol groups, will inaugurate the terminal after an investment of R$ 95 million, which will allow the flow of 2 million tonnes of sugar for export by year.

Between now and October, which is the peak period of the sugarcane harvest in central-south Brazil, 15 trains of 120 wagons are expected to depart from Iturama for the port of Santos.

One of the distinguishing features of the new terminal, which has been in testing since last month, is its loading speed, which can reach 1,500 tons per hour, according to Rumo’s commercial vice president, Pedro Palma, and can load three trains of 120 wagons every day.

“Following the concession, Rumo held the first operations at São Simão and Rio Verde, with soybeans, corn, and soybean meal. For now, the operation in Iturama is merely symbolic as it is Rumo’s first sugar-handling operation in the region. The introduction of this Rumo railway access will serve not just plants in Minas Gerais, but also plants in the south of Goiás,” Palma stated.

Mario Lorencatto, the president of Coruripe, stated that 1.15 million tonnes of sugar will pass through the terminal, which will also serve other clients. “Sugarcane energy is entering a new frontier, with firms from São Paulo leading the way. (….) Because the majority of the sugar is exported, it must travel 700 kilometers or more to the mills in Goiás. How does it arrive at Santos’ port? How these operations connect was the logistical issue in question, which has now been rectified with the completion of the work,” he stated.

Initially, the terminal’s operations, which will generate 50 direct jobs, will be solely for sugar. Still, there is nothing preventing ethanol operations from being carried out, for example, if there is future demand, according to Palma.

The working portion of Norte-Sul under Rumo’s concession is currently 580 kilometers long, indicating that it is not yet completed. The road construction between Rio Verde and Anápolis is still ongoing.

Once fully completed, the railway will connect the ports of Itaqui (MA) and Santos. “The construction work should be completed in Anápolis by the end of 2022,” said Palma.

The Norte-Sul Railway

Rumo will also inaugurate a fertilizer operation in Rio Verde and foresees the construction of a container-handling terminal in Anápolis via Brado, a Rumo company with activities in the sector. Also, Rumo shall build a fuel transshipment hub in Rio Verde next year.

The stretch of the rail network controlled by Rumo in Estrela D’Oeste connects with the São Paulo network also owned by Rumo, which obtained an early renewal concession in 2020 that shall extend the company’s control over the stretch until 2058 in exchange for R$6 billion in investments.

Now, with the Norte-Sul Railway, Rumo’s operations will reach Mato Grosso, Paraná, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Goiás, and Mato Grosso do Sul via 14 thousand kilometers of railroads connecting the country’s mains ports.

According to Brazil’s National Association of Railway Transport (ANFT), 21,5% of all goods produced domestically are transported by rail, a much lower rate than countries like Australia (55%) and Russia (81%) but higher than that of China (14%).

Coruripe, which has an installed capacity to crush 15 million tons of sugarcane, should see a production of 14 million tonnes with the 2022/23 harvest.

Source: Folha de S. Paulo

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