In Argentina, Terminal Quequén S.A. has accepted a new extension for the concession of the ex-Nacional Grain Board silo. This was put offered to the incumbent operator by the Quequén Port Management Consortium as a way of ensuring the continuity of port operations in the handling of grain. Terminal Quequén will now operate the silo until 30 November 2024, thereby ensuring uninterrupted operations whilst leaving enough time to negotiate a new long-term contract, although this will be awarded only after an open tender.
According to Jorge Álvaro, of the Quequén Port Management Consortium, the management board believed that the time between the end of the current concession and the opening of a new tender would otherwise by too short and therefore, potentially, leave the port in chaos.
Significantly, this will be the third extension awarded to Terminal Quequén since it was awarded the original concession in 1992. Company president José Martins concedes that, while this is somewhat anomalous, it is better than there being no acknowledged grain handler in place. The original concession expired in November 2022 and was then extended for a further year.
Terminal Quequén S.A. is certainly a big hitter in the grain handling market, since its shareholders consist of various multinational exporters, including Bunge, Cofco, and Viterra (formerly known as Glencore), among others.
Looking further ahead, in 2027, the A.C.A silo concession falls due for renewal, meaning that it remains essential to maintain continuity in the port and plan ahead as far as possible.
Currently, Terminal Quequén is responsible around half of the traffic that flows through the Port of Quequén. In 2022, this amounted to 2.3 million tonnes. Nowadays, for each dollar per tonne exported, Quequén Port Management Consortium earns 16 cents; in the early years of the concession this was 40 cents. As part of the new concession, the management consortium anticipates increasing its own per tonne rate.