Governor Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior presented, on Monday (31), to the bench of federal deputies of Paraná, the project to implement the Western Export Corridor. The new railway branch will connect the Port of Paranaguá to the city of Maracaju (MS), expanding the network operated by Ferroeste today (Estrada de Ferro Paraná Oeste S / A). The meeting took place via videoconference.
Ratinho Junior explained that the forecast is that the new railway network will have an extension of up to 1,371 kilometers. The project, he pointed out, includes the construction of a new railway between Maracaju and Cascavel (West of Paraná); the revitalization of the current railway section operated by Ferroeste, between Cascavel and Guarapuava; the construction of a new route between Guarapuava and Paranaguá and a multimodal branch between Cascavel and Foz do Iguaçu. As it is being prepared, there is no defined value for the work.
“It is an extremely important project, which will impact the flow of production from Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná and Paraguay. This work is part of the actions that seek to transform Paraná into the logistics hub of South America, ”said the governor. “A project that is already born victorious, uniting two production hubs to create a large export corridor,” he added.
During the virtual meeting with parliamentarians, Ratinho Junior recalled that a technical cooperation agreement was signed this month with Mato Grosso do Sul in order to speed up the project. In addition, he reinforced, a contract has already been signed with the company TPF Engenharia for the execution of the Technical-operational, Economic-Financial, Environmental and Legal (EVTEA) Feasibility Studies, which should be completed in a maximum of one year.
“The deadline is tight, but everything is going very well, within the established schedule. We are in talks with Ibama in search of environmental licenses, ”said Ratinho Junior.
NEXT STEPS – The proposal is to open the project’s concession to the private sector. In June, Ferroeste was qualified to join the Federal Government’s Investment Partnership Program (PPI), in response to a request made by the State Government. With the inclusion in the PPI, the Union will help Paraná with the necessary regulatory technical support in several areas, from modeling and the environment to attracting investors.
The expectation is to put Ferroeste up for auction on the Stock Exchange (B3) until November 2021, with EVTEA and EIA / RIMA already concluded. The concession model (total or partial) is being discussed by the working group that prepares the Paraná State Railway Plan, instituted in July by Governor Ratinho Junior.
HISTORICAL PROBLEM – Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Logistics, Sandro Alex explained that the project, also called Nova Ferroeste, will solve a historic infrastructure problem in Paraná, with an impact for Brazil and Mercosur. The new route will connect Paraná to the national railway network, benefiting the main powers of national agribusiness, in addition to Paraguay, which is today one of the main world producers of grains.
“It has a very large impact on the entire national logistics, strengthening and encouraging the production of two states in the country and also Paraguay. That is why the need to involve and build the project together with our federal bench, ”he said. “We are going to build a long-term sustainable modal, leaving a very large legacy for the entire society of Paraná,” added the coordinator of the Paraná railway plan, Luiz Fagundes.
“It was an enlightening meeting. We understand all the details of a project that is extremely important for Paraná and Brazil. The Paraná bench will fully support whatever is necessary, ”said the coordinator of the state bench at the Federal Chamber, deputy Toninho Wandscheer.
PROFIT – Ferroeste’s CEO, André Gonçalves, took advantage of the meeting to show the company’s figures. He recalled that last year, for the first time in history, Ferroeste operated at a profit. “Something symbolic, around R $ 500 thousand, but which proves that the company can work in blue,” he said.
This year, he said, the company closed the first half with an operating profit of R$ 2.3 million and a turnover of R$ 13.9 million. Also according to Gonçalves, between January and June of this year, 792.1 thousand tons of cargo passed through the railroad tracks, mainly grains and refrigerated chicken, which are sent for export via the Port of Paranaguá, and fertilizers and bagged cement, transported to Cascavel.
The volume handled in the first six months of 2020 was 23% higher than the same period last year, when 609.3 thousand tons of products were transported.
Source: Portos do Paraná