BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Chinese state-owned construction giant CCCC is preparing a bid to dredge Argentina’s Parana River, the country’s main cargo superhighway that takes soy and corn from the Pampas farm belt to the shipping lanes of the south Atlantic and the world.
Representatives of China Communications Construction Co Ltd and its Shanghai Dredging unit have met with Argentine government and local port officials to sound out the dredging concession, according to three people involved in the talks, which have not been previously reported.
CCCC - Forefront - China - Push - Food
CCCC is at the forefront of China’s push to lock in food supplies by investing in commodities transport hubs globally.
Dredging the Parana is the biggest logistics contract in Argentina. China is already the main buyer of Argentine soybeans while Chinese state-owned conglomerate Cofco has, through acquisitions, become the biggest agricultural commodities exporter operating in Argentina.
Shanghai - Dredging - Interest - Parana - Part
Shanghai Dredging’s interest in the Parana appears part of China’s broader effort to “invest across international agricultural supply chains to better control supply and pricing,” said Margaret Myers, head of the Asia-Latin America program at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.
From 2005 through the first half of this year China invested about $579 billion internationally in the energy, power, transport and agricultural sectors, according to Washington-based American Enterprise Institute’s Chinese Global Investment Tracker, of which $71 billion went to South America.
Flurry - Meetings - World - Dredging - Firms
There have been a flurry of meetings between the world’s main dredging firms and port operators preparing a study of the river as a preliminary step to issuing an invitation for bids next year, according to Argentina’s Port and Maritime Activities Chamber and the ACSOJA soy industry chamber.
The Parana carries 80% of Argentine farm exports.
Marcos - De - Vincenzi - Manager - Servimagnus
Marcos De Vincenzi, dredging manager for Servimagnus, CCCC’s local partner, acknowledged the Chinese firm’s interest in the concession, saying, “We think that the dredging of the waterway must...
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