Port terminal auction frustrates government expectations

port terminals santos
Port of Santos. Photo: Aguinaldo Matzenbacher/Shutterstock

Brazil’s federal government held an auction today to sell off three port terminals, in what was tipped to be the largest auction of its kind in the country’s history. However, the sale only received two bids, drawing total revenue of BRL 558.4 million (USD 99.67) — just over half of the BRL 1 billion originally forecast.

The auction was organized with much fanfare by São Paulo’s B3 stock exchange, the Infrastructure Ministry, and the National Water Transport Agency. Two of the terminals up for sale were located in the Port of Santos, the largest in Latin America, but only received one bid between them. Petrobras won the right to continue operating the so-called STS 08A terminal, while STS 08 was ignored completely.

The Infrastructure Ministry said it will review studies carried out on STS 08, with a view to re-auctioning it soon.

The other terminal up for auction was located in the port complex of Imbituba, in Santa Catarina state, largely focused on transporting liquid fuels or chemicals. Fertilizantes Santa Catarina Ltda won the auction with its bid of BRL 200,000.