Jun 05, 2023

Brazil's Supreme Court Gives Go Ahead for Ferrograo Railroad

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

After two years of waiting, the Brazilian Supreme Court has now given the go ahead for preliminary work to resume on the long anticipated Ferrograo Railroad (Grain Railroad) linking the state of Mato Grosso with the Port of Miritituba in northern Brazil. The decision by Minister Alexandre de Moraes will allow preliminary work to resume on environmental impact studies and pre-construction planning.

The delay was caused by an executive order issued by past President Bolsonaro for the railroad to acquire 862 hectares (2,130 acres) of the Jamanxim National Park for the right-of-way of the railroad. The judge had originally ruled that the park boundary could only be altered through legislation by the Brazilian Congress, but he has now determined that the dispute will be resolved within 60 days by the Supreme Court's Center for Alternative Legal Solutions.

The 933-kilometer railroad with investments of approximately R$ 21.5 billion, would reduce the cost of transporting grain from central Brazil to some of Brazil's "Northern Arc" of ports. Once started, construction is expected to take up to 9 years and upon completion, the railroad is expected to transport 50 million tons of grain annually.

Proponents of the railroad stress that the railroad would reduce costs and cut carbon emissions by a million tons annually by reducing the number of trucks currently hauling soybeans, corn, soybean meal, soybean oil, fertilizers, sugar, ethanol, and petroleum derivatives to the northern ports.