SANTAREM, BRAZIL— The State of Pará Environmental Secretariat (SEMA) issued the operating permit for Cargill’s Santarém port terminal in Brazil, as well as the installation permit to expand those facilities. The license formalizes SEMA’s technical opinion on the feasibility of that investment and will enable Cargill to go ahead and make further investments in the terminal.

The documents were handed to the company during the opening of the Lower Amazon Agricultural Fair in Santarém, by the state of Pará Environmental Secretary, José Alberto Colares, one of many authorities attending the event.

The new investments to expand the facilities were considered in the Environmental Impact Study and Environmental Impact Report (EIA-RIMA) of the terminal. The new license will enable Cargill to expand the terminal’s storage capacity to 90,000 tonnes of grains. The company also plans to upgrade the logistics involving delivery, storage and shipping of grains.

“The investments reinforce Cargill’s effort and commitment to Santarém and help develop Brazilian agribusiness,” explains Clythio Buggenhout, Cargill’s director of ports.

The delivery of the operating permit concludes a democratic process the Santarém terminal EIA-RIMA process represented. Four public hearings held in four municipalities (Santarém, Belém, Alenquer e Belterra) were attended by more than 90 institutions and had the input of local leaders, residents, public and private organizations, NGOs and farmers.

Built in 2003, Cargill’s port terminal in Santarém transships and stores export bound grain. Currently the facilities can store 60,000 tonnes, rely on 120 company employees and 30 contractors, and handle about 1.2 million tonnes of grains per year. Nearly 95% of that grain arrives in barges from the neighboring state of Mato Grosso and about 5% comes from farmers in the western part of the state of Pará.