VLI’s Santos subsidiary Terminal Integrador Portua´rio Luiz Antonio Mesquita (Tiplam) has inaugurated an initial berth in what is the expansion area of its existing operations in the Brazilian port. A second berth is due to open shortly that will be dedicated to the handling of bulk sugar.

In total, the expansion of the Tiplam facility will involve the construction of three new berths, two of which will specialize in bulk sugar consignments, while the third will handle fertilizer. This will bring to four the number of berths operated by Tiplam, the initial facility already handling inbound sulphur, rock phosphate, fertilizer and ammonia.

With investment due to be completed by the end of the year, capacity at the terminal will increase from 2.6mt (million tonnes) to 14.5mt, boosting Santos’ overall capacity by 12mt.

VLI’s director of ports and terminals, Gustavo Serra~o, says that he expects the first of the dedicated sugar berths to commence operation by the end of March or early April. The second berth is due to become available as of May, being used to export fertilizer. Nevertheless, draught restrictions in the Piac¸aguera Channel limit access to vessels drawing no more than 9.8 metres of water,

effectively preventing much larger bulk vessels from being deployed. VLI is therefore dredging this area to around 13.5 metres. Significantly, while the first two of the new berths — 2 and 3 — will have alongside draught of 12 metres, these too will later be dredged to a depth of 13.5 metres. BC