April 7, 2015

Port of Paranagua Preparing for Larger Vessels of 90,000 Tons

The Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil continues to make significant investments in increasing the ports efficiency and capacity by installing four new shiploaders and increasing the draft at the port.

Two of the four new shiploaders have already been in operation since February and the other two are expected to be operational in August. Each new shiploader has a 30% increase in capacity compared to the ones being replaced. Each new shiploader can load 500 more tons per hour and the four combined will increase the loading capacity by 2,000 tons per hour. The public corridor at the Port of Paranagua consists of three berths each with two shiploaders.

Part of the improvements at the port also includes dredging the port to accommodate larger grain vessels. Currently, the largest vessels that can dock at the port have a capacity of 70,000 tons, but that is expected to be increased to 90,000 tons after the dredging project is complete. The first phase of the dredging started in January and is expected to be completed in June of 2016. This first phase will increase the draft at the berths to 13.8 meters at a cost of R$ 90 million reals.

The second phase of the project will increase the draft of the channel leading to the berths. The depth of the channel will be increased to 16 meters at a cost of R$ 394 million reals. The work will start during the second half of 2015 and be completed in 2016. The depth of the channel needs to be greater than at the berths due to waves, wind, and currents.

All of these improvements are part of Brazil's effort to improve the infrastructure of the country to accommodate the expanding agricultural production and to reduce the high cost of transporting grain in Brazil. Other improvements in Brazil include: improving and expanding Brazil's highways, increasing rail transport, building barging operations to move grain northward to ports on the Amazon River and in northeastern Brazil, and increasing the capacity and efficiency of existing ports such as Paranagua.