SAO PAULO, March 13, 2015 (Press Release) -The specialized terminal Portocel (Terminal Especializado de Barra do Riacho), result of a partnership between two of the world's largest pulp producers (Fibria, with 51% interest and Cenibra, with 49%), celebrates 30 years under private control in March, and has become a global benchmark for port operations. Portocel's warehouses and quays are responsible for moving 70% of Brazil's annual pulp exports. Over its 30-year history, the port has moved nearly 85 million tons of pulp, equal to more than 5 times annual production from all Brazilian pulp producers, which totaled 16.4 million tons in 2014.
Pulp and wood are the main products that pass through the terminal, located in Aracruz (state of Espírito Santo), one of the only terminals in Brazil integrated with other forms of transportation: highways, railways, pipelines and waterways. With specialized equipment and facilities for handling pulp, the terminal is capable of loading 72,000 tons per day, versus 24,000 tons per day 30 years ago.
Round-the-clock operations and trained personnel are additional differentials that make it one of the most efficient in port operations and have led to Portocel's recognition for its efficiency and low cost.
In 2014, the port broke a historic record, moving 6,009,464 tons of pulp by year's end. The terminal has three berths that receive an average of 286 ships per year. Thirdy years ago, the facility had only a single berth, receiving an average of 64 ships per year.
Diversification- Portocel specializes in moving forestry products, but in the recent years has also dedicated operations to other cargo, taking advantage of the terminal's potential and operating efficiency. Other forms of cargo include metals, salt, granite, sodium sulfate, pipes and project cargo. "We are prepared to handle other cargo with the same efficiency seen in pulp operations," said Patrícia Dutra Lascosque, Portocel's superintendent. She added that the port has seen a 100% increase in the handling of other products over the last four years.
Barges- In addition to berths for ships, Portocel also has a Barge Terminal, inaugurated in 2003, which led to the renewal of cabotage operations (between ports in the same country) in Brazil. The terminal is used to unload wood that Fibria produces in southern Bahia and pulp produced in Veracel, in the city of Eunápolis (Bahia). Wood is loaded on barges at the Caravelas Terminal (Bahia) and pulp, in the Belmonte (Bahia) port.
In 2014, barges transported approximately 23% of wood that supplied the Fibria plant in Aracruz (Espírito Santo). Pulp from Veracel that arrives on barges is transferred to Portocel warehouses and is later loaded onto ships headed to a number of countries. In addition to Fibria and Cenibra, other pulp producers also use Portocel to ship their product.
Productivity- In an ongoing pursuit of greater efficiency, safety and operational excellence, Portocel implemented the Operational Resizing Project in 2014. Focused on pulp handling, the project involved the adjustment of cargo handling equipment to increase productivity. To do so, the port terminal conducted studies and tests to map bottlenecks and identify opportunities for improvements to its pulp-handling infrastructure.
This project identified the opportunity to resize cargo handling equipment, both vertical (lift-trucks) and horizontal (tractors), which led to the replacement of part of the lift-truck fleet, comprised of 7-ton lift-trucks, with vehicles capable of handling 16 tons. The tractor fleet was also replaced with forestry tractors adapted with quick-coupling mechanisms, while service teams for both activities were also resized.