The ’super port’ in Sao Joao da Barra is the largest port investment in Brazil and will have capacity for the largest ships in the world.
a gigantic concrete pier that juts nearly two miles out into the South Atlantic and boasts an unusual nickname : the Highway to China.
Dotted with orange-clad construction workers and propped up by dozens of 38-tonne pillars, this vast concrete structure is part of the Superporto do Acu, a £1.6bn port and industrial complex that is being erected on the Rio coastline, on an area equivalent to 12,000 football pitches.
Reputedly the largest industrial port complex of its type in the world, Açu is also one of the most visible symbols of China’s rapidly accelerating drive into Brazil and South America as it looks to guarantee access to much-needed natural resources and bolster its support base in the developing world.
When Acu opens for business in 2012, its 10-berth pier will play host to a globetrotting armada of cargo ships, among them the 380-metre long Chinamax – the largest vessel of its type, capable of ferrying 400,000 tonnes of cargo.
Millions of tonnes of iron ore, grain, soy and millions of barrels of oil are expected to pass along the « Highway » each year on their way east, where they will alleviate China’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for natural resources.
China is expected to overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy this year and may already be the world’s greatest energy consumer. Now it is set to become Brazil’s top foreign investor, with its companies plowing $20bn into the country in the first six months of 2010, compared with $83m in 2009. A recent study by Deloitte predicted that Chinese investments in Brazil could hit an average of about $40bn a year between now and 2014, with companies throwing money at sectors ranging from telecommunications, infrastructure and farming, to oil, biofuels, natural gas, mining and steel manufacturing.
The surge in China’s South American spending is not just a Brazilian phenomenon. Ecuador has already signed around $5bn of bilateral deals with China this year, including $1.7bn to help build a hydro-electric dam and $1bn investments for oil exploration and infrastructure projects. That compared with Chinese investment of just $56m in 2009.
Chinese companies have sunk $1.4bn into mining operations in Peru this year, while in April Hugo Chávez announced that the Chinese, already major sponsors of Venezuelan oil exploration, had agreed to open a $20bn credit-line for the « Bolivarian revolution ».
In Sao Joao da Barra, the city nearest to Acu and one of Rio state’s poorest regions, the Chinese presence is being felt even before Brazil’s Highway to China is complete.
Keen to impress, LLX staff at the Açu port lay on hot water and Mandarin interpreters for visiting Chinese dignitaries. Sao Joao da Barra’s town hall, meanwhile, has started offering free Mandarin lessons to locals interested in working with the wave of Chinese guests that is anticipated.
« You should see a 10-year-old boy saying, ’I understand … the Chinese are coming and when the Chinese industries come I want to work for them and if I speak Mandarin I’ll have a competitive advantage on the others’, » beamed Eike Batista, the billionaire entrepreneur behind the superport and one of the most vocal cheerleaders for Chinese advances into Brazil. « [It is] wonderful. »
guardian.co.uk via contre info
Vous vous rendez compte, un port sur l’équivalent de 12 000 stades de foot !!!! C’est stupéfiant.
Les échanges Sud-Sud deviennent de plus en plus importants, comme je vous le disais hier, on est mal barrés, les occidentaux vont surement énormément s’appauvrir et notre part dans l’économie mondiale va diminuer, par exemple vinci n’est plus le premier groupe au monde dans sa spécialité, bouygues a perdu une place et n’est plus que 4ième, ce sont des groupes chinois qui les ont dépassé….
Nous sommes endettés, vieux et aigris, les autres sont jeunes, en train de devenir riche et extrèmement motivés, c’est simple d’imaginer ce qui va se passer.
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