Project Update: Brazilian port authority commissions study for new industrial grain complex

by Teresa Acklin
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   RECIFE, BRAZIL — The Suape Industrial Complex, a port facility and industrial zone just south of Recife in the state of Pernumbuco in northeastern Brazil, recently commissioned a U.S. engineering and design firm to perform a feasibility study for a U.S.$40-million industrial grain complex.

   Wafic Ayoub, a spokesperson for the Black & Veatch engineering firm, which is based in Kansas City, Missouri, said the feasibility study should be completed within the next three months.

   Mr. Ayoub said the study includes an analysis of commodity forecast and market terminal operations and planning, environmental aspects of the grain complex, infrastructure and transport support requirements and a project schedule, financing and operations.

   The proposed grain complex would have about 100,000 tonnes storage capacity and could accommodate 60,000 dwt Panamax-size vessels.

   Projected annual grain imports, primarily maize and soybeans, are estimated to be in excess of 2 million tonnes. About 60% of the grain imported would be used by the poultry industry, according to Mr. Ayoub.

   The state of Pernumbuco, a sub-tropical area, has been importing grain from Argentina to supplement domestic production, he said. “But they are reaching their capacity limits,” he added.

   The Brazilian government, which controls the port authority, is already dredging the port area and is seeking private investors to finance and operate the grain complex, Mr. Ayoub said.