Porto Sul and Fiol projects advance in BahiaNov, 07, 2019 Posted by Sylvia Schandert
According to the Bahia State Government, a future with more opportunities has been materializing for mining in the state. The interconnected projects of Porto Sul, in Ilhéus, and the completion of the West-East Integration Railroad (Fiol), on the stretch from Ilhéus to Caetité, are advancing. Projected to be fully operational in 2024, the logistics corridor will flow and distribute ore and grain produced in the state, generating a 1.93% increase in the GDP of Bahia.
The realization of the projects “will bring an increase to the local economy, in addition to attracting new investments and companies from the infrastructure and logistics sector to the region, and will bring more employment and income opportunities,” says Casa Civil’s infrastructure coordinator, José Carlos Valle. “The projects will also contribute to other production chains, intensifying the development of commerce and tourism, for example,” added Valle.
The construction of the port is in the preparatory phase, with the training of local labor, in addition to the implementation of environmental programs. Since June of this year, the State Government has begun the process of expropriation for the implementation of the equipment.
The port will be built through a Special Purpose Company signed between the state and Bahia Mineração (Bamin). With an investment of R$2.5bn, the structure will have a terminal, with storage and transport capacity of up to 41.5m tons of iron ore/year.
Porto Sul has a direct dependency relationship with Fiol, which will transport ore and grain production to Porto Sul for cargo to be distributed. As Fiol’s promoter, the state government conducted the Technical and Economic Feasibility Study (EVTE), which has just been approved by the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT). The validation allows the process to advance so that the Union makes the bid for the Railroad, which is scheduled for the first half of 2020.
The stretch to be bid is 537 km long and more than 70% is already completed. Following the resumption of works, the deadline for completion is two years.
In September 2017, the State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Beijing with a Chinese consortium and the Bahia Mineração shareholder Eurasian Resources Group for the development of the Porto Sul, Fiol, and the Pedra de Ferro mining project, located in Caetité. The document states that the parties wish to cooperate in the realization of projects in an integrated manner. The Chinese consortium is made up of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) and China Railway Group Limited (Crec).
Agreement against environmental damage
According to the Bahia Notícias website, in order to avoid environmental damage with the implementation of Porto Sul, a social and environmental agreement was signed between entrepreneurs, the Federal Public Prosecution Service (MPF), the Public Prosecution Service of Bahia (MP-BA), the State of Bahia, Bahia Mineração (Bamin), Institute of Environment and Water Resources (Inema), and the municipality. The Socio-Environmental Commitment Term (TCSA) was approved by the Federal Court on October 17, but was only released on Wednesday (11/06). The Term of Commitment establishes penalties, including a fine of R$10,000 for non-compliance, plus interest.
Entrepreneurs should be responsible for the impacts arising from the project and the costs of preventive measures aimed at preserving the affected region, with payment of amounts and various do’s and don’ts, reducing social and environmental risks. The agreement provides for integrated and strategic environmental management; territorial planning; the improvement of environmental monitoring, evaluation and control; the strengthening of supervision; the consolidation of conservation units; and the preservation and protection of ecological corridors.
Sources: Bahia Notícias and Governo da Bahia