ANTONINA, BRAZIL — The Ponta do Félix Terminal at the Port of Antonina in Brazil will export its first grain shipment, 25,000 tonnes of soybean meal, the Administration of Paranaguá and Antonina (APPA) announced on Dec. 30.

The product is 100% produced and processed in Paraná and is not genetically modified. It will be exported to Europe for the company Parana IMCOPA. The terminal specializes in fertilizer import operations, and the export of frozen and bagged sugar.

It is expected the Antonina terminal will export more than 450,000 tonnes during 2016, with growth forecast for the coming years.

The modernization of the Port of Antonina was instrumental in attracting new exporters and allowing the movement of new products, port administrators said. The dredging, for example, is considered crucial for new operations. In 2015, the port resumed exports of sugar and now will operate grain.

In all, more than R$70 million was invested by the administration in retrofits on Teffé Baron and Felix terminals over the past four years. Before that, the port had gone through a period of 40 years without public investments. Today, the Port of Antonina manages to attract operations for its quick mooring of ships provided by the new draft.

"We managed to increase the draft of the channel, revitalize the port and return competitiveness to the port of Antonina. This benefits not only the local economy but also the entire state of Paraná. The obligation of APPA is to seek new cargo handling alternatives to increase the supply of port services in Parana and thus promote competition," said  Luiz Henrique Dividino, chief executive officer, APPA.

Secretary of Infrastructure and Logistics Jose Richa Son said this is a new step for the growth of the ports.

"Paranaguá just activated the new room shiploader, hit all moving records in the export corridor, and now we have opened a new door for export in Antonina,” Richa Son said.