Brazil’s Paranagua port conveyor belt idle amid explosion risk

By Thomson Reuters Apr 10, 2024 | 2:53 PM

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – The Port of Paranagua, one of Brazil’s busiest for sugar and grain exports, said on Wednesday one conveyor belt at its so-called export corridor remains inoperative after labor authorities idled it over a “risk of explosion.”

The Paranagua Export Corridor Terminals Association (Atexp), comprising a group of 10 companies that operate in the facility, ships approximately 20 million tons of grains per year using that structure, according to its website.

A spokesperson for the port told Reuters the inoperative conveyor belt has not disrupted grain exports via the corridor, adding that five out of a total of six belts remain operational.

“Auditors from the ministry of labor found serious maintenance issues and excessive dust accumulation, which could lead to an explosion,” shipping agent Williams said on Wednesday.

Williams added that the order to stop the conveyor belt may delay ship loading.

Atexp, whose exporters include Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The labor ministry could not be reached for comment. The order to idle the belt took effect on April 1, the port’s spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Sandra Maler)