In July, the Public Fertilizer Terminal (Tefer) at the Brazilian Port of Paranaguá finally commenced operations. Despite having been built in 2008 and inaugurated a year later, it has never actually carried out any product handling because of certain ‘irregularities’. However, the port authority, APPA, has now met all the requirements imposed on its by the IRS and has received its first cargo.

According to APPA, imported fertilizer at the port during the first six months accounted for almost half of Brazilian imports of this product. Indeed, in the first two quarters, ports in Paraná state handled nearly 5mt (million tonnes) of imported fertilizer, up 22% on the corresponding 2012 period. In the whole of Brazil, just over 10mt of fertilizer were imported in the period between January and June.

It has taken intensive work involving the environmental agency and federal revenue to make Tefer suitable for operation. The port is now planning a new holding area to organize the flow of trucks carrying consignments both inside and outside the port.

TST now operates the terminal, handling imported fertilizer on behalf of Fertipar. According to the company, the main difference between it and other terminals is in the speed in operation, since consignments can be loaded directly on to a conveyor, rather than having to be loaded onto trucks.

Tefer, which was inaugurated in March 2009, cost $5 million to build, with investment provided wholly by APPA. The silos can hold up to 32,000 tonnes of fertilizer and can be loaded by conveyor at 1,000 tonnes per hour.