(Adds details on railway and road concessions)
By Leonardo Goy
BRASILIA, March 7 Brazil's President Michel
Temer launched an infrastructure concessions program on Tuesday
to raise 45 billion reais ($14.43 billion) in investment for
building and operating roads, port terminals, railways and power
The program is a key part of his strategy to restore
business confidence and pull Brazil's economy from its
worst-ever recession after a sharp drop in commodity prices and
a decade of profligate rule by the leftist Workers Party.
"There will be 45 billion reais in new investment in the
energy, transport and sanitation sectors which will lead to the
creation of 200,000 new direct and indirect jobs," Temer said.
Inaugurating a meeting of the Investment Partnership Program
(PPI), which will oversee concession tenders, Temer said 55 new
projects would be opened to the private sector.
"We are leaving behind a deep recession and entering a phase
of prosperity where private investment will be decisive," said
the president, who has said his top priority is curbing
unemployment running above 12 percent.
Data on Tuesday showed a surprise acceleration in Brazil's
economic downturn in the final quarter of 2016, raising pressure
on Temer and the central bank to promote growth.
The infrastructure program will kick off on March 16 with
auctions to run the airports of Porto Alegre, Florianopolis,
Salvador and Fortaleza, which are expected to draw much investor
Wellington Moreira Franco, the minister in charge of the
PPI, said the government would offer 35 concessions in energy
The PPI plan includes concessions to operate new terminals
in the ports of Santana, Itaqui and Paranagua, and the extension
of contracts in Vila do Conde, Niteroi and Santos, Brazil's
largest port. The plan offers early renovation of five railway
concessions in return for new investment commitments.
With its budget squeezed by recession, Temer is betting an
increase in private investment can revive the economy despite
political turbulence from a sweeping anti-corruption
Rights to operate three highways will be auctioned before
current licenses expire and will go to bidders who offer the
biggest investment and the lowest toll rates, Transport Minister
Maurício Quintella said.
The current concessionaires, whose contracts run through
2021, will be allowed to participate in the auctions, he said.
The three highways are the Via Dutra, between Sao Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro, and the Concer and CRT motorways that link Rio
to Juíz de Fora and Teresopolis.
($1 = 3.1179 reais)
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Leonardo Goy; editing by James
Dalgleish and Andrew Hay)