Porto de Suape (Port of Suape)
Ports and Terminals

Port of Suape breaks all-time throughput record

Jan, 26, 2020 Posted by Sylvia Schandert

Week 202005

The Port of Suape set a new historical record in 2019 handling 23.8 million tons of cargo, up 2% compared to the previous year when 23.4 million tons were handled. A previous record had been broken in 2017, when 23.6 million tons.

The result is sign of economic recovery, but is also directly associated with a cargo diversification strategy by the port management. Containerized cargoes at the port also set a historic record, registering a 5.7% rise, from 5 million tons in 2018 to 5.3 million. This was equivalent to 4.7% growth in TEU (from 454,721 to 476,304).

The amount of liquid bulk cargoes (fuels, LPG, mineral oils, etc) handled remained stable, growing 0.1%, rising from 17.624 to 17.634 million tons. As a result, Suape consolidated its position as the largest liquid bulk port in the country. Liquid bulk cargoes represent 74% of all cargo handled at the port and are the main reason that Suape is the main cabotage port in Brazil. The port is used as a hub, attending large ships and distributing cargoes to other terminals on smaller ships.

Break bulk cargoes grew the most out of all types of cargo, closing the year with 386,500 tons, a 54.8% increase. In the previous year the total handled was 249,600 tons. Break bulk cargo includes commodities such as sugar in bags (346% growth), tower and wind turbine equipment (increase of 323%), steel sheets and coils (increase of 77%), billets and vehicles, among others. The large increase in break bulk cargoes was driven by sugar exports to Africa and Turkey, as well as steel shipments to Colombia, Peru, Jamaica and Canada.

Dry bulk cargo registered 5.5% growth, closing the year on 490,800 tons, 25,000 tons more than in 2018. The rise was driven by the first coke shipment from the Abreu e Lima Refinery (RNEST), carrying 31,000 tons to China. Wheat and slag make up the rest of the dry bulk cargoes. The number of ships that called at the Port of Suape rose from 1,461 to 1,474 in 2019.

Imports increased 8.7% in 2019, totaling 5.62 million tons, 450,000 tons more than in 2018. Cargo exports fell 5.3%, totaling 2.33 million tons last year compared to 2.46 million in 2018. One of the main factors driving the drop was the vehicles sector, which fell to 46,721 units in 2019, 19,563 units less than in 2018. This drop was caused by the economic crisis in Argentina, the main destination of Brazil’s vehicle exports via Suape. Despite the drop, Suape continues to be the port that handles the most vehicles in the Northeast.

New business – 2019 was marked by the opening of three projects in the Suape Complex. Aché Laboratórios Farmacêuticos opened the first stage of its factory in October. Built on an area 250,000 square meters, the new plant will produce, package and distribute medicines to the entire Northeast region. Investments are in the order of R $ 660 million.

In May, Camil Alimentos, a rice, beans and sugar processing plant, was inaugurated. With an investment of R$ 22 million and 170 direct and indirect jobs, Camil has 6,500 m² of built area and a production capacity of 10,000 tons per month. At the end of the year, SIW Kits Eólico started its operations, occupying 7.66 hectares of area and generating 40 direct and 30 indirect jobs. The industry came to integrate the Suape wind farm, initially serving LM Wind Power, a manufacturer of wind blades that belongs to the GE group and has been operating in the Suape Complex since 2013.

Prospects for 2020 – The expected return of managerial autonomy to the Port of Suape will be one of the milestones of 2020. At the end of December last year, the port filed that request with the National Secretariat of Ports, proving its compliance with the indicators established in Ordinance No. 574 / 2018 of the Ministry of Infrastructure, which created the Port Authority Management Index (IGAP). The response is expected to come out in the first half of the year.

The participation of a private partner in the management of the Port of Suape is important. A study on the feasibility of the initiative was agreed between the State Government and the Ministry of Infrastructure. The idea is for the private sector to take over management of the port area, with the State remaining the ultimate owner.

The move is seen as important for Suape to be able to speed up the bidding processes for new terminals, to manage port leasing contracts and to inspect operators. An answer is expected towards the end of the year as the matter evolves throughout 2020.

Another great expectation for this year is the bidding for the lease of the second container terminal at the Port of Suape. The process went through adjustments in the TCU and should be launched by Antaq soon. Tecon 2 should receive R $ 1.2 billion in private investments and will play an important in enhancing Suape as a national hub port.

Three truck sorting yards will also be inaugurated this year with 500 static spaces each.

Another initiative that will be consolidated this year is the implementation of SuapeGeo. The project will unite several technologies such as geoprocessing and geolocation, among others. As a result it will consolidate information on Suape’s territory and on the dynamics of how it interacts with the different players. One of the gains will be the more precise identification and characterization of the geographical space, helping to negotiate areas for companies to set up, in addition to supporting the fight against deforestation and invasions.

There is a prospect of resuming the implementation of the Suape Branch of the Transnordestina Railway, as the State Government has been building deals with the Ministry of Infrastructure to find a solution to the continuity of the work.

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