Sao Paolo: With the epic fire at tank storage units finally doused on Saturday, full access to the nearby Port of Santos was finally restored on Monday and port authorities hope it will take only a few days to get operations back up to speed.
The fire at fuel tanks run by Brazilian liquid storage specialist Ultracargo had burned for eight full days – and through parts of nine – from Thursday April 2 until Friday April 10. It engaged dozens of firefighters whose main task was to contain the spread while the blazes in six tanks gradually burned themselves out. Among the liquids stored were diesel, ethanol, gasoline and other chemicals.
Smoke clouds caused precautionary partial closure of one entrance for a week, inhibiting truck flow in and out. It had a particular impact on the movement of soy commodities for export, Brazil being one of the world’s leaders in the product and Santos being a major conduit for it. For almost a week about 400,000 tonnes of soy bean and soy meal had been held up from export.
Tackling that backlog is a priority for port operators and stakeholders. There will also need to be an assessment of environmental damage as many dead fish were recovered from Casqueiro River which suffered oxygen depletion and extreme temperatures during the fire.