Açu Port welcomed today Trade Minister Marcos Pereira and representatives from the Council of Export Processing Zones (CZPE). The goal was to check out the port and Industrial District of São João da Barra (DISJB), which together ensure that the region is able to host an Export Processing Zone (EPZ). DISJB was created and is managed by Rio de Janeiro state. The new EPZ, the second in the state and first one in its northern region, is expected to be created in early 2017.
“I am certain that an EPZ here at Açu Port could bring broad development not only to the region, but to the whole country. This enterprise has a strategic location and high-level facilities. We are very excited by this project. Today, the state government presented a memo so that the Trade Ministry can assess the project and, I anticipate that our assessment is very positive,” Pereira said.
The Minister is the Chairman of the Council, formed by officials from the Ministries of Finance, Planning, Budget, Interior, Environment, and Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic. The Council is responsible for recommending to the President of the Republic the creation of EPZs, which are free trade areas dedicated to businesses that export 80% of their output. Ornamental rocks and coffee industries are some of those which may benefit from the implementation of an EPZ at DISJB.
“The EPZ is a big step towards sustainable social and economic development in Northern Rio de Janeiro and meets the existing needs of the Southeast region in terms of port logistics. Today, we see a dream come true,” said José Magela Bernardes, CEO of Prumo Logística, the developer and operator of Açu Port.
Federal Representative Júlio Lopes, also Vice-Chairman of the Transportation Commission of the Lower House, emphasized the importance of a new ZPE for the Northern and Northwestern parts of Rio de Janeiro. “We are very pleased with the development of Açu Port, which is strategic for the region. Creating an EPZ is another stage in this process. We made the legislative indication, presented it to the President of the Republic and, today, our Council of Export Processing Zones is here to turn this project into reality. Each day, the port advances further in setting up what it will be one day: certainly the largest in South America and one of the biggest port facilities in the world,” he added.
Logistics access to Açu Port, which is vital to the development of the EPZ, was also addressed during the visit. “Nowadays, Açu is the port with the largest prospects for receiving cargo volumes in Brazil in the near future. Hence, in addition to the EPZ, it is essential to have a high-capacity transportation system, spearheaded by the Rio-Vitória railroad, which already has a final project. It will enable significant reduction in logistics costs and significant increases in the volume of cargo handled by the port complex,” said Delmo Pinho, Undersecretary of Transportation of Rio de Janeiro.
The visiting group included the head of the state’s Economic Development Company (CODIN), Conceição Ribeiro, and the Undersecretary of Economic Development (SEDEIS), Dulce Ângela, representing the state government.
One of the many advantages of Açu Port is the Multicargo Terminal (T-MULT), with 500 meters of quayside, approximately 200,000 m2 of customs area and two Mobile Harbor Cranes, each with a radius of 46 meters and hoisting capacity of up to 100 tons. The terminal is authorized to handle solid bulk, project cargo and motor vehicles and is already handling bauxite, pet coke and project cargo.
Furthermore, the Northern part of Rio de Janeiro state will have road RJ 244 connecting DISJB to highway BR101, and a rail branch line to EF-118, connecting DISJB and the port to Rio de Janeiro City and Vitória. The high-capacity railroad will enable transportation of a wide array of products, such as bulk, ornamental rocks and grains.