Home » Ports/Terminals » President Arroyo inaugurates ICTSI Brazil’s new CY

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has inaugurated the expanded container yard of the Suape Container Terminal (SCT), a seaport facility in northeastern Brazil operated by Tecon Suape, S.A. (TSSA), a subsidiary of Philippine-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI).

The expanded terminal area is part of ICTSI’s $120-million phased investment program that would cement SCT’s position as a key Brazilian port serving trans-Atlantic trade. The investment program commenced in 2002, a year after ICTSI won the 30-year concession to manage, operate and develop the SCT.

The Suape Port visit of Mrs. Arroyo is part of the President’s visit to Brazil, a first for an incumbent Philippine president. During the morning’s program, Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI chairman and president, toured Mrs. Arroyo at the SCT, and assisted the President in unveiling a marker commemorating her visit and in a ribbon-cutting ceremony signaling the start of operations of the terminal’s expanded area.

“President Arroyo was impressed with what ICTSI did to the Suape Container Terminal. Today, the SCT is the most important container terminal in this part of Brazil. It is the most modern and largest terminal in the northern and northeastern regions of the country,” Razon said.

Also present during the inauguration were presidential spouse Atty. Jose Miguel Arroyo, and members of the Philippine delegation led by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo; Pernambuco state officials led by Eduardo Henrique Accioly Campos, Governor of Pernambuco and Fernando Bezerra Coelho, Secretary for Economic Development of Pernambuco and President of the Suape Port Authority; and Marcelo Suarez, ICTSI Senior Vice President for the Americas and Sergio Kano, TSSA Chief Executive Officer.

“We are greatly honored that President Arroyo visited Tecon Suape,” said Kano. “What Mrs. Arroyo inaugurated represents a $10-million investment, which is part of a three-year $45-million investment. Since 2002, we have already spent $75 million in developing the SCT. We are now ready to proceed with the next phase of the program. By 2012, our total investment for the SCT would total $120 million,” he added.

ICTSI is the first Philippine company to invest in the Brazilian maritime sector, and so far, the largest Philippine investment in Brazil. The expanded terminal area adds seven hectares more to the SCT container yard bringing the terminal’s developed area to close to 30 hectares. The recent investment also includes terminal support equipment: three reach stackers and 11 prime movers.

New equipment

Kano said that after the inauguration of the new container yard, TSSA is preparing the terminal for the commissioning of eight units of new rubber tired gantries (RTG) in November.An investment amounting to $15 million, the RTGs were ordered from heavy equipment maker Noelle, and are being manufactured in China.

“These investments are geared to further strengthen the position of the SCT as a vital port in Latin America. ICTSI envisions the terminal to become an alternative and eventually a major hub in the Atlantic. The strategic location of Suape makes it the ideal port to serve transshipment in the region. Hubs in the Caribbean and Mediterranean are getting congested, and the SCT is well positioned in the South Atlantic to facilitate transshipment traffic,” Kano explained.

In 2008, the SCT posted a 22% increase in volumes from 2007, one of the largest in terms of growth among Brazilian ports.Since TSSA started operating the SCT, volume has increased 10 times, from 30,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to almost 300,000 TEUs at the close of 2008.

Terminal productivity, on the other hand, was eight moves per hour per crane before the SCT privatization. After seven years, the terminal moves containers at 25 moves per hour per crane, the highest productivity in the region.

The SCT is ICTSI’s benchmark terminal in the company’s South American operations. TSSA employees were members of the operational start-up team of ICTSI subsidiary Contecon Guayaquil SA for the takeover of the Guayaquil Container and Multipurpose Terminals in Ecuador. Key TSSA officers are also involved in the company’s projects in Buenaventura, Colombia and La Plata, Argentina.

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