| 16 YEARS | The port of Pecém, which is already an important anchor of Ceará economy, looks ahead to a new phase of development.
by Átila Varela
In the 90’s the idea of the Industrial and Port Complex of Pecém (Cipp) didn’t exist yet. The port of Mucuripe, in Fortaleza, was the main entrance/exit route of solid and liquid bulk cargo in the state. With the progressive growth of the population in the capital, the port external area (essential for running the port activities) became smaller. The solution? To expand the complex to Praia do Futuro. “If it occurred, the port would be expanded, but not the areas for the installation of industries which also included a refinery and a steel mill” recalls Victor Samuel, former managing director of Ceará Industrial and Tourism Development Company (Coditur), current State Development Agency (Adece).
In the middle of 1995, appear the first surveys for the implementation of a port in the outskirts of Fortaleza. In addition to a backside area to meet the requirements needed to construct the new facilities, a draught 14-meter deep was necessary (Mucuripe had only 10 meters) . Pecém and Paracuru were listed as ideal locations. After bathymetry of the Navy, Pecém won. Then, the feasibility studies began.
But it was only in 2002 it went into operation and this year, it celebrates 16 years since its opening. A lot has changed since then. The Steel Mill of Pecém (CSP) is a reality by now and with it, a range of other investments.
After Petrobras gave up the project in January 2015, the refinery, which will now be headed by Chinese and Iranians, is in the final phase of studies and will remain at Cipp. Several companies are interested in the port due to its proximity to Fortaleza, besides the tax incentives granted by Ceará government and its geographical position favoring interchanges with USA, Africa and Europe.
“Pecém is already an important port in Brazil and is working to be one of the best and most efficient in the country. Governor Camilo Santana’s idea is to transform it in a major hub for maritime cargo”, says César Ribeiro, head of the Economic Development Department of Ceará (SDE). One of the actions to make the complex appear on the international scene was the launch of Maersk Line route which will link Pecém to several ports in Asia.
“The cargoes should take on average 29 days between Brazil and Singapore, reducing journey time by up to 31 days. The port of Pecém new line will do in 29 days the route that others take up to 60 days”, adds César.
The evolution of port in these 16 years is amazing. When it started operating, cargo handling reached 381 thousand tons.
In 2017, for example, it exceeded 15 million tons.
OPINIONS OF THOSE WHO USE THE PORT
Greater concentration of vessels ensuring a major flow of containers
WHAT IS MISSING
The cost of the port of Pecém is more expensive in relation to the port of Mucuripe, in Fortaleza. Taxes could be better, says Antonio José de Carvalho, director of Isaac’s hammocks factory.
The port geographical location is appealing to the biggest international players besides assisting the investors who carry out transactions.
WHAT IS MISSING
The signing of the partnership with the port of Rotterdam, which already has an extensive network of connections, says Carlos Prado, president of Itaueira Farming.
Arrival of Naval ships on Ceará coasts for studies
From June to December:
Creation of the Cipp and hiring of basic engineering projects
Start to work
Completion of access works
Completion of the bridge and Pier 1
Completion of works on Pier 2
Completion of the breakwater
Contract signature between Ceará government and the Ministry of Transports
The start of commercial operations
Official opening of the terminal
Start of rail transport operations
Opening of the LNG regasification terminal in Pier 2
Survey for the construction of TMUT – Multi-Purpose Terminals
Completion of the breakwater expansion
Construction of the 1st coal conveyor
Opening of TMUT with two new mooring berths
Arrival of two new cranes
Signing of Cearáportos Modernization Law, the managing company of the Pecém port terminal, now denominated Development Company of the Industrial and Port Complex of Pecém S.A.- Cipp S.A.