- Terminal Marítimo de Ponta da Madeira
The Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal, owned by mining company
CVRD, sits next to the public port of Itaqui, in the state of Maranhão, in northern Brazil. It was chosen as the terminus of the Estrada de Ferro Carajas, where trains unload iron orefor shipping overseas, mainly to Europe and Eastern Asia. The terminal, abutting the Bay of Sao Marcos (St. Mark) has a natural draft of 26 meters (86 feet) at low tide; 14m (46') tides proved a significant problem thanks to the strong currents generated, but those were circumvented through the placement of underwater concrete "breakers."
The terminal and Itaqui port are still primarily iron ports, but have increasingly also turned to other cargoes, especially bulk agricultural goods. The smallish container patio is dwarfed by the piles and holding areas of the iron wharves, capable of handling
shipsup to 500m long and 500,000 metric tons in dead weight.
In recent years, CVRD has announced its intention to build huge steelworks next to the terminal; this has been the subject of much criticism for its environmental effects, particularly upon the nearby state capital, São Luís, whose colonial nucleus is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Economy of Brazil
Transport in Brazil
* [http://www.cvrd.com.br/cvrd_us/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?infoid=1494&sid=269 Article about the terminal at CVRD site]
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