Deals on Wheels | The Railway Pipeline

estacao-luz-antiga

Source: Portal ClippingMP.
Authorship: Guilherme Soares Dias | Valor Economico

I have recently received an incentive to closely and constantly keep an on the Brazilian transportation sector as a whole — not just what the ALLs and LLXs are up to.

Intercity passenger trains are being readied to circulate again in at least nine Brazilian states with plans under active study. In most of these cases, the intention is to reuse existing freight lines for medium-velocity passenger service. The plans provide for management by private sector concessionaires and ticket prices competitive with intercity buses, in a attempt to take some of the strain off crowded highways.

Brazilian roadways — constantly subject to apocalyptic weather conditions, let it be said — are a nerve-wracking way to get around, although mirabile dictu the rodoviários — bus stations — hum industriously all year long, and especially around Christman, when Northeastern families make the trek to be temporarily reunited.

In all, 1,900 km of so-called “regional trains” will get off the drawing board sometime this year. The federal ministry of transport has detailed plans for six stretches of railway, while SUDECO — the Superintendency of  Center-West Development examines two rail lines in the Brasília region. The state of Minas Gerais is studying three new lines and São Paulo is planning another five.

After a study by BNDES, the national development bank, issued a list of  64 railway lines that could be used to move passengers, the transport ministry chose 14  priority project for evaluation in 2011. Two years later, six of these are underway under the auspices of BNDES and one another, under construction by the state of Minas Gerais, should be ready by the the end 2Q13.

After the studies are conducted, the proposals will be opened up to public discusion, after which the transport ministry intends to assess tender offers for projects starting in 2014. Bids closest to completion so far include the Londrina-Maringá connection, in  Paraná, and the Bento Gonçalves-Caxias do Sul connection, in Rio Grande do Sul, where feasibility studies have been conducted and public audiences will begin next month in which residents and local governments will have their say.

According to Euler Costa Sampaio, coordinator of studies on regional and passenger rail in the transportation ministry, the rail lines will likely operate on the basis of a Public-Private Partnership or a concession model. “We want to take advantage of the new rules for the railway sector, which instituted right of way [for passenger trains] on freight train lines,” he said..

Along certain stretches, such as the connection  Londrina-Maringá, the plan is to create a double-track road, given the heavy cargo loads resulting from the line’s proximity to the Porto of Paranaguá. Studies will show that demand will be sufficient for an all-passenger service, says Sampaio. Estimated demands runs around 36,000 passengers a day and 13 million passengers a year.

Another challenge for the regional lines will be entering urban zones, in places where they might cross paths with municipal transport. “We will have to provide quality and accessibility in order to compete with the interstate bus lines. Fairs will have to be in line with what it costs to travel by bus”, a Transportes official said.

In some cases, such as the Salvador-Alagoinhas connection in Bahia, whose study will be filed in June, indications are that the rail line can be extended another 40 km to Feira de Santana. With its  568,000 inhabitants, the city is the second most populous of Bahia state and is connected to Salvador by Highway BR-324, which sufferes from intense passenger and cargo traffic.

Another stretch of track featured in the  Sampaio reporte is the São Luís-Itapecuru-Mirim triangle, in the northern state of Maranhão, where the largest petrochemical center in the Northeast is under construction.

In addition to the six rail linkages already under study, the transport ministry expects to contract studies for another six: São Cristóvão—Laranjeiras (SE), Recife—Caruaru (PE), Campos—Macaé (RJ), Itajaí— Rio do Sul (SC), Campinas—Araraquara (SP), Santa Cruz—Mangaratiba (RJ), and Bocaiúva—Janaúva (MG).

Os projetos preveem que os trens atinjam de 80 a 140 quilômetros por hora para encurtar, em alguns casos, o tempo de percurso atual. É o caso do trecho entre Brasília e Goiânia que teria viagens de 50 minutos, enquanto as de carro e ônibus duram de duas a três horas. O trecho é estudado pela Sudeco. A linha seria de uso misto, sendo aproveitada para transporte de cargas, com ligação da Ferrovia Norte-Sul em Anápolis (GO), onde está prevista uma parada.

O diretor-superintendente da Sudeco, Marcelo Dourado, ressalta que 6 milhões de pessoas moram no entorno da futura linha e devem ser beneficiadas pelo novo modal de transporte. Ele destaca ainda que haverá melhora no escoamento de produção do agronegócio. A região concentra o segundo Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) meso-regional só perdendo para Rio-São Paulo.

“Essa ligação mais rápida vai incentivar a industrialização e a conurbação da região”, acredita Dourado. Os estudos estão sendo concluídos e a intenção do órgão é que a licitação ocorra até o fim do ano, as obras comecem em 2014 e sejam concluídas em até sete anos. O custo estimado é de R$ 1 bilhão. A Sudeco estuda ainda a ligação entre Brasília-Luiziânia (GO), onde já existe linha férrea e seria necessária adaptação para o trem de passageiros. “Essa seria uma intervenção mais rápida e barata. Seriam necessários dez meses e R$ 90 milhões de desembolsos para viabilizar a linha”, afirma Dourado. O trecho seria atendido por um Veículo Leve sobre Trilho (VLT). De acordo com o superintendente da Sudeco, os dois projetos têm chegada prevista na rodoferroviária da capital federal e devem desafogar as rodovias do Distrito Federal.

O governo federal prevê ainda estudos de um trem ligando as cidades do Triângulo Mineiro e outro mais ousado, da Superintendência do Desenvolvimento do Nordeste (Sudene), que planeja o “Trem da Costa Dourada”, linha de 2 mil quilômetros ligando Salvador ao Delta do Parnaíba (PI) pelo litoral, passando pela maioria das capitais do Nordeste. Apesar do apelo turístico do projeto até mesmo os estudos encontram dificuldade para sair do papel. “O Ministério do Turismo tinha se comprometido a bancar, mas ainda não conseguimos a liberação da verba. Agora estamos negociando com o governo espanhol para financiar os estudos”, diz o superintendente da Sudene, Luiz Gonzaga Paes Landim. Ele garante que o trem é viável e afirma que o projeto poderia ser “fatiado”, com início nos trechos de maior apelo turístico como Salvador -Praia do Forte (BA), Recife-Porto de Galinhas (PE), Natal-Praia da Pipa (RN) e Fortaleza-Canoa Quebrada (CE).

Para o coordenador de transporte de passageiros do Laboratório de Transportes e Logística (LabTrans/UFSC), Rodolfo Philippi, os projetos atuais estudados pelo Ministério dos Transportes terão viabilidade reforçada pelo transporte urbano, uma vez que o aproveitamento de linhas já existentes vai possibilitar estações no centro das cidades. “Em locais maiores como Londrina, Maringá e Caxias do Sul poderá haver mais de uma estação incentivando o locomoção das pessoas dentro das cidades”, diz.

Já o presidente da Associação Brasileira da Indústria Ferroviária (Abifer), Vicente Abate, recorda que nas décadas de 60 e 70 os trens de passageiros chegaram a transportar 100 milhões de passageiros por ano. “Com o desinvestimento do governo na rede, os trens de passageiros foram perdendo competitividade e começaram a ser desativados e foram substituídos pelo transporte de rodovias. Agora devemos ter novo momento de retomada do setor”, considera.

Hoje, apenas duas linhas férreas recebem transporte de passageiros no país: a Estrada de Ferro Carajás, entre São Luís-Carajás (PA), e a Estrada de Ferro Vitória-Minas entre Vitória e Belo Horizonte. Ambas são mantidas em projetos sociais da Vale e movimentam juntas 1,5 milhão de passageiros por ano.

Good fodder for a private Wiki on the subject.

Silvio Santos PROER is Answered

My subscription to Relatório Reservado has finally lapsed, but with the merger between TAM of Brazil and LAN of Chilw, orher moves are afoot in the regional airline industry, the Rio rumor sheet says.

The Constantino clan is looking hard at a privatization of TAP. And  Gol is looking to get into the game. It cannot be seen as a response, albeit a modest one, against the porposed merger of TAM e Lan. The plans are heavily guarded and only disucssed at 20,0000, or so says a ranking source with ties to the Gol board ….

After stoutly supported the  Dilma candidacy among the empresariate, Néné has held high level meetings on the aviation sector … aftere getting out of jail again on weapons charges.

But wait, I take that back. My modest little broadsheet is still faithfully arriving, bringing news this noon hour that the the obscenely overprice luxury retailer Daslu is ready to declare bankruptcy and negotiate its debts;

The future of Daslu is reaching a turning point.. In late February, the company will hand its plan to creditors and its plan for judicial reorganization. In play are debts on the high side of R$100 million. A decision to forgive the debt is a sine qua non for for Daslu.

The question now seems to be whether Eliane “I am a victim of political persecution” Tranchiae will stay on board.

 

Strong contenders for the firm are Marcus Eliat of Parmalat — look how that turned out — and Grupo JHSF — what we would call a REIT. .

OI, a major player in digital convergence, will indemnify Bahian consumers with R$ 100 million for shitty service, notes the AE..

SALVADOR – The outage that hit fixed line and mobile telephones and internet connectivity of Oi after a file at the firm’s central operation center in Salvador,on December, will cost the company R$ 100 million paid to consumers in the state..

My NET-Virtua internet went down 9 times yesterday after Electropaulo transformers, as usual, EXPLODED APOCALYPTICALLY.

A settlement signed by Oi and the Secretary of Justice and Human Rights of  Bahia, provided a set of benefits to users, ranging from exemption from usage fees during outages to, 30 bonus minutes for  3,196,590 prepaid plan uses in the state,, as well as a month of discount for 194,990 post-paid customers. The parties also agreed to prorate and discount up to three months of the fees paid by 25,962 fixed-line internet and 11,974 Velox broadband users affected by the outage..

Silvio Santos, the legendary TV network owner and personality, has found his white knight, the Estado de S. Paulo says — a PROER, or Programa de Estímulo à Reestruturação, bank by BTG Pactual.

The private PROER will keep Banco Panamaricano out of bankruptc and allow Silvio Santos to told onto his assets. Last night, BTG Pactual bought Santos’ share in Panamericano for R$ 450 billion.  Silvio used the money to service R$ 4 billion in debt with the Fundo Garantidor de Crédito (FGC) and cover shortfalls at the bank. The FGC will hold onto the remainder in the name of national financial stability..

Silvio was smiling last evening, not least because he had held onto his najor asseta  including  SBT and the Jequiti cosmetics company. On the other hand, he loses the only back he still controls

The mechanics of the deal were as follows: Silvio received, not cash, but notes receivables from  BTG and its chairman André Esteves, worth R$ 450 million. It transfered these securities to the FGC and liquidated its debt from ownership of Panamericano.  BTG must now define when it will repay the FGC.BTG has until 2928 to do so, at 13% per yer. If it takes all the time afforded it, it will have pid the FGCC R$ 3.8 billion.

But  BTG can pay the principal whenever it likes. paid tomorrow, it would be liable for R$ 450 million. In that case,  FGC would lose some $ 3,5 billion.

My wife’s response is “What are people going to do without the Baú de Felicidade?” — an enormously popular game show.

Civil Aviation | “Chaos, Controlled”

Don’t know why
There’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather …

Every year, it rains like mad every single freaking day over much of Sambodia.

Every year, the spectacle of flooded-out Brazilians rules the airwaves and hands are wrung.

This year, the images have been of flooding in Southern California and headlines like “Hellish Megastorm Advances on U.S. Northeast!

In a similar way, every year, the Brazilian holiday traveler is bombarded with alarmist messages about the impending “chaos in the skies.”

But if you make a rough comparison of Brazilian aviation statistics with data on the on-time performance of flight operations back at home, they seem actually seem fairly comparable — mutatis mutandis.

We don’t travel enough to provide effective eyewitness testimony, but in our limited experience, nothing bad has happened on a Brazilian flight so far that has not happened on United or American Airlines — and with no huge difference in frequency of occurrence, now that Varig, which really did suck badly, in our experience, is out of business.

It would be interesting to know how much the weather is a factor in on-time performance in the two big countries of similar size and climactic diversity.

U.S. statistics will estimate this for you where Brazilian statistics won’t, not yet.

I tend to think Brazil has more extreme weather, but then again, snowstorms no longer shock me, whereas Sambodians find them astonishing.

The Correio Braziliense reports on the “chaos, controlled” — from a Ministry of Planning press clipping.

Average of flight delays is less than 15% and most passengers report no problems.

With airport workers and pilots working at full strength this Christmas, the situation was calm this Saturday. Attorney Celina Serra, 39, was surprised to encounter such a short line at check-in at the Brasília airport.

“It thought it would be insane, which is why I got here early. But it’s calmer than it is on normal days,”, she said. Celina lives in Fortaleza and traveled to Brasília with her daughter to spend Christmas with her family. From the federal capital, the two traveled on to Rio de Janeiro, where they plan to spend New Year’s.

Flight delays at Brazilian airports from midnight to 3 p.m. on Saturday were the lowest in four days — an average of 13.6% as of 11 a.m. Of the 1,351 domestic take-offs scheduled nationwide, 184 took off more than 30 minutes late.

I think they use 60 minutes back home.  Continue reading

GE Brasil | Edelman and the F-16

It is interesting to look back at the dynamics of the late elections here in Brazil in light of an important pending deal: the acquisition of some 20-odd brand new fighter jets for the Brazilian Air Force.

Representing General Electric, the manufacturer of the Rolls Royce F186 engines that would come standard on any next-generation F-16s — if the Brazilians select that aircraft over the French Rafale — is Edelman Worldwide‘s newest division, Blue Advertising – which also handled the most recent Windows Vista rollout.

The agency also handles “social marketing” for the Business Software Alliance and “advocacy campaigns” for the Business Roundtable, the American Petroleum Institutte, and so on and so forth — mainly umbrella organizations. A rumor is circulating, though not with much vehemence, that the Swedes are out of the running. Could just be malicious gossip. There is a lot of that going around.

GE was a very prominent source of what looked an awful lot like “soft money” campaigning — the Brazilian lack  this term still — in the late elections, particularly through projects co-financed by State and USAID, on one end, and by Sambodian state and municipal governments and related state-owned companies — SABESP, the NYSE-listed sanitation company, especially — on the other.

A brilliant TV ad campaign for how great SABESP is, and then after the elections, CETESB reports that the North Shore beaches are too polluted to open. Vix.

Youth mobilization was a key strategy, and related organizations and events such as Campus Party — the federal situation selected its digital communicator in chief from among the organizers – the “Camps” movement, the Association for Youth Movements and International Youth Foundation-Fellowship played an active role in creating an “ideological” context for the opposition campaign.

Continue reading

São Paulo: Dicks Nix Freight Rate Fix

White-collar perp walks: “The people like it that way.” Source: Caros Amigos (Brazil)/NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS (Brooklyn)

The case is the result of a plea bargain with Lufthansa, which enabled the state secretary of economic law (SDE) to take testimony and read e-mails exchanged among the accused and Lufthansa employees. In one of the e-mails, the state prosecutor says, dated Sept. 9, 2005, Dener de Souza is observed devising various ways of pressuring American and European companies to honor the fixed prices.

dick, gumshoe, hawkshaw (someone who is a detective)

MP-SP denuncia 8 pessoas acusadas de formação de cartel de cargas aéreas: The São Paulo state prosecutor files criminal indictments against eight air-cargo executives on charges of price fixing and conspiracy to form a cartel.

Personal criminal responsibility for corporate misconduct: It seems to be in fashion here in Brazil. It’s a little disconcerting. Whatever happened to fining the company stiffly, which then fires the employee that cost it all that money, if it wishes?

On the other hand, the Brazilian landscape is littered with latifundiários and monopolists, both armed and unarmed, who nevertheless quack endlessly just like a character from an Ayn Rand novel about the virtues of the free market.

The report is from the Ultima Instância legal news service (UOL).

De acordo com informações do MP-SP, foram denunciados Dener de Souza, gerente regional de Carga da emprega American Airlines Cargo; Renata de Souza Branco, gerente de Vendas da KLM Cargo; Javier Felipe Meyer de Pablo, diretor de Vendas da ABSA Cargo; Paulo Jofily de Monteiro Lima, gerente de Vendas da Air France Cargo; Herman Arturo Merino Figueroa, diretor administrativo da ABSA Cargo; José Roberto Rodrigues da Costa, gerente de Carga Internacional da VarigLog, e Luis Fernando Costa, gerente de Vendas da United Airlines.

According to information from the state prosecutor’s office, indictments were issued for Dener de Souza, regional cargo director for American Airlines Cargo; Renata de Souza Branco, sales manager of KLM Cargo; Javier Felipe Meyer de Pablo, sales director of ABSA Cargo; Paulo Jofily de Monteiro Lima, sales manager for Air France Cargo; Herman Arturo Merino Figueroa, executive director of ABSA Cargo; José Roberto Rodrigues da Costa, international cargo manager for VarigLog; and Luis Fernando Costa, sales manager for United Airlines.

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