Brazil’s Amaggi Group and agribusiness giant Bunge announced on 26 July that they are expanding their partnership to use the Tapajós-Amazon waterway, which began in 2014 when they formed the Unitapajós (Navigations United Tapajós) joint venture.

Amaggi will buy 50% of Bunge’s Miritituba-Barcarena port complex, comprised of a trans-shipment station in Miritituba and a port terminal in Barcarena, Pará state.

Unitapajós operates a fleet of 90 barges and has a handling capacity of 3.5M tonnes/year of oilseeds and grains along this route.

"This new step strengthens our presence in the region and also contributes to the growth of a key logistics route," said Amaggi CEO Waldemir Loto.

The ‘Northern Corridor’ route can ship soyabeans from Mato Gross state via Miritituba along the Tapajós river, which is a major tributary of the Amazon river. The route carries soyabeans and corn to Barcarena port for export to Asia or Europe, offering an alternative to Brazil’s crowded southern ports.

The deal is subject to approval by Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense.

"This operation is fully in line with the Bunge strategy to optimise its assets and pursue strategic partnerships to capture growth opportunities," said Raul Padilla, president and CEO of Bunge Brazil.

The Amaggi group has operations in agricultural and soya seed production; soyabean, cotton and corn cultivation; soyabean processing; fertilisers; river transport and power generation.

It has three soya crushing plants in: Cuiabá, Matto Gross state (1,600 tonnes/day capacity); Itacoatiara, Amazonas state (2,000 tonnes/day capacity); and Lucas do Rio Verde, Matto Gross (3,000 tonnes/day capacity).

It also manages the Porto Velho transhipment terminal in Rondônia, the Itacoatiara floating port in Amazonas and part of the Guarujá Bulk Terminal in the Port of Santos.