Terminales Río de la Plata, S.A.

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Project Number: 
Expected Consideration Date by the Board: 
Date Posted: 
Terminales Río de la Plata S.A.
Financing Requested: 
Buenos Aires
Scope Objective: 

Terminales Rio de la Plata S.A. ("TRP" or the "Company") is an Argentine company that holds the concession rights under a 25-year concession agreement to operate Terminals 1, 2, and 3 of the Puerto Nuevo in the City of Buenos Aires. TRP’s core business is handling containers, although it also handles general cargo and vehicles and runs the only terminal at the Port of Buenos Aires for passenger vessels. TRP’s total quay line is 2,143 meters, with water depth of 9.8 meters, and a total landside area of 43.5 hectares.

The project will help TRP finance its 2006-2007 investment program and refinance its existing debt. The investment program includes the purchase of one gantry crane, additional gantry cranes for the container yard, and other equipment; the relocation of an existing gantry crane from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2; the demolition of a warehouse in Terminal 3 to expand the container yard; and the installation of additional reefer plugs.

The IIC will work with other multilateral organizations to provide TRP financing at terms not otherwise available in Argentina.

TRP is the main terminal of the Port of Buenos Aires, handling 40% of all containers that pass through the port. Argentina’s economic recovery has led to a boom in port activity in recent years, and the Port of Buenos Aires will face serious limitations by 2009 if investments are not made to increase its capacity. The IIC will make a significant contribution by providing funding to prepare the port for the expansion project, increase port efficiency, and enable port authorities to meet the growing demand in the years to come. The benefits will be felt by Argentina, consumers, producers, and transport workers.

Environmental Review: 

Environmental Classification and Issues:

This is a category III project according to the IIC’s environmental classification system because specific impacts may result that can be avoided or mitigated by adhering to generally recognized performance standards, guidelines, and design criteria. The environmental and labor considerations related to the project include personal safety and emergency response, liquid effluent and solid waste management, and hazardous merchandise handling and storage.

TRP Terminals 1 and 2 are ISO 9001-2000 and ISO 14001 certified. When TRP acquired Terminales Portuarias Argentinas (TPA) in 2004, it took over Terminal 3, which it plans to certify as well. TRP is in compliance with the ISPS (International Ship and Port Safety) Code and is certified by Argentina’s port authority (Administración General de Puertos) and naval command (Prefectura Naval).

Personal Safety and Emergency Response

TRP follows the safety and environmental standards established by P&O Group and P&O Ports. The company’s policy of continual improvement strives for not only zero fatal accidents but also an 80% reduction in lost day incidents within five years.

The action plan to meet this objective has four main components: leadership to change the company culture; main risk identification; supervision of workplace behavior to implement changes; and support and services to provide the resources necessary to carry out the plan.

A study of the most frequent accidents at P&O facilities in recent years led to the identification of five main potentially fatal risks and the development of specific prevention measures. These risks are related to pedestrians, moving equipment, suspended cargo, working at heights, and contractor work.

A safety committee for each risk is responsible for specific risk prevention recommendations and an accident reduction plan. All P&O Ports terminals share critical incident reports, which include a near-miss report.

TRP has its own emergency response team. The company’s terminal facility security staff also receives emergency response training. There are regular drills, including complete evacuations. The terminal has an alarm system with different rings for emergency response and evacuation. The perimeter hydrant system, which takes water from the river, covers Terminals 1 and 2, and construction is underway to extend coverage to Terminal 3. The company’s emergency manual covers fourteen risk situations and the procedures and chain of command for each one.

Liquid Effluents

TRP generates liquid effluents at its container cleaning facility and during machine and engine cleaning. The plant uses a physical-chemical treatment process that involves oil separation, precipitation/flocculation, filtration, disinfection, and pH adjusting prior to discharge into the municipal sewer system, which regularly undergoes physical-chemical monitoring.

In the event of an accidental spill, the rainwater collection system in Terminals 1 and 2 has locks that isolate the collector and recover the effluents for subsequent treatment. A similar system is being built in Terminal 3.

Solid Waste

Regular terminal operations generate several types of waste, which is collected, handled, and stored temporarily following procedures established in accordance with an environmental management plan. Solid waste is collected by authorized companies that must produce a waste collection manifest signed by the transporter; certification is from the final treatment operator is also required. There are similar procedures for the waste generated by vessels operating at the terminal.

Hazardous Cargo and Materials Handling

Approximately 2%-3% of the cargo handled at the terminal is hazardous, according to IMO (International Maritime Organization) classification. Special software is used to ensure the minimum spacing of hazardous cargoes throughout the terminal based on their risk and incompatibility.

TRP does not use hazardous materials such as PCBs, asbestos, aromatic hydrocarbons, or ozone-depleting products inside the terminal.

Labor Practices

TRP is in compliance with national labor laws and International Labor Organization (ILO) standards. These include social security benefits, freedom of association, organization of workers’ unions, prohibition of forced labor and exploitative and abusive child labor, and nondiscrimination in the workplace. Terminal employees are members of five different unions.

In addition to the health insurance required by law, TRP also has its own medical service with a permanently-staffed infirmary and is affiliated with an external emergency service that has a base at the terminal. All employees receive an annual preventive checkup, with additional specific exams based on their job profile.

Control and Follow-Up

Pursuant to the terms agreed with the other financial institutions contributing to this project, TRP shall ensure that the company and all of its employees, agents, contractors, and subcontractors comply with the IFC’s environmental and social guidelines and environmental review summary guidelines, as well as Argentina’s labor and environmental laws. TRP shall submit an annual report that monitors compliance with these guidelines and shall report any serious incident in the terminal within three days of its occurrence.