Tapajós - Teles Pires
Waterway Infrastructure Project:
Waterway should reduce the cost of freight by R$ 2 billion . The
implementation of this waterway is an old demand of the agricultural
sector of Mato Grosso
BY: AGUIRRE TALENT
FOLHA DE SAO PAULO IN BELEM
The federal government decided to take the first step to building a
waterway which will transport the soybean production of Mato Grosso
through the State of Pará,
The work will facilitate access the ocean shipping, which experts
estimate, could reduce freight costs to R$ 2 billion annually.
The state of Mato Grosso produced 40 million tons of grain in the
2011/2012 harvest, equivalent to 25% of the national total.
The Tapajós-Teles Pires waterway is a plan from the 1990s. Next
week, there will be a bid to define which company will do the
feasibility studies and project work.
From these results, the government could begin the physical work,
even though cost and operation model have not been officially
designed. The studies are estimated to cost R$ 14 million.
The work will eliminate obstacles like rocks and sandy stretches,
opening a a 1,000 km waterway starting from the Teles Pires River
(MT) and following the Tapajós River to the port of Santarém (1,443
km from Belem).
Grain production in Mato Grosso,
which presently is routed by road and rail to the port of Santos
(SP), will have another option.
From Santarém, it is possible to reach the Atlantic Ocean via the
Amazon River and supply both the international markets and Brazilian
consumers in the Northeast.
The Aprosoja (Soybean Growers Association and Corn MT) estimates
that the cost of transporting a ton of soybeans would fall from R$
227 to R$ 60 with the opening of the waterway. In one year, the
industry would save R$ 2 billion.
"The waterway will be a milestone for the Midwest, a mode of
transportation that does not pollute and is cheap. Tapajós River
will be for Brazil as the Mississippi is to America," says Seneri
Paludo, executive director of Famato ( Federation of Agriculture and
Livestock of Mato Grosso).
According to the organization, the waterway will serve mainly the
western and middle regions of northern Mato Grosso, which represents
more than half of the agricultural production of the state.
The bidding for the studies will be done by Codomar (Dock Company of
Maranhão). The waterway, however, should be managed by AHIMOR
(Administration of Waterways Eastern Amazonia) - which could cause
problems for the implementation of the project.
"We would need an increase in the budget, because our current
structure is not able to manage this waterway," said Albertino de
Oliveira e Silva, superintendent of AHIMOR.
Alex Argozino / Editor of Art /