Today, the Companhania das Docas do Estado da Bahia (CODEBA) oversees operation of the Port of Aratu, which handles 60% of the cargo volume as well as the traffic from the petrochemical site in Camacari and mineralogical activities in the state. Introduction of the petrochemical site led to the addition of facilities in the Port of Aratu, including four terminals (with one for gas products and one for liquid products). In 2001, the Ford Company arrived in Camacari, and the Port of Aratu underwent further modernization and expansion.
Major exports moving through the Port of Aratu include gasoline, xylene, butadiene, propane, mono ethylene glycol (MEG), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), ammonia, and magnesite. Major imports from the Port of Aratu include naphtha, copper concentrate, fertilizers, dichloroethane, caustic soda, phosphatic rock, coal, and sulphur.
Pier I at the Port of Aratu handles solid bulks. This public pier has two mooring cribs with alongside depth of 12 meters. Pier I is linked to an open-air storage yard covering 68.4 thousand square meters with capacity for 475 thousand tons of cargo.
Several companies maintain facilities at the Port of Aratu’s Pier I. Fafen rents over 31 thousand square meters of warehouse for 40 thousand tons. Alcan rents three thousand square meters containing a vertical silo with capacity for 10 thousand tons of alumina. Magnesita rents a warehouse of 12.7 thousand square meters with capacity for storing 33.5 thousand tons of magnesite. Caraiba Metals rents 31.3 thousand square meters, including a warehouse of 15 thousand square meters that can store up to 79.6 thousand tons of copper concentrates, coke, and phosphate rock.
Pier II at the Port of Aratu also handles solid bulks. The public pier includes an operation platform 210 meters long with alongside depth of 12 meters. Pier II is connected inland by a bridge and rail. Not yet completed, Pier II is used for general loose cargo.
The Port of Aratu contains a pier for liquid bulks operated by CODEBA in partnership with private interests. It includes an operations platform and two mooring cribs with alongside depth of 12 meters. The North Pier is 220 meters long and accommodates ships of up to 35 thousand DWT. The South Pier accommodates larger vessels. The pier is connected inland by pipeline to storage facilities. The company Tequimar S/A rents 84.4 thousand square meters for multiple-use tanks with capacity of 131.6 thousand cubic meters of petrochemicals.
Several companies maintain facilities at the Port of Aratu’s Pier II. Tequimar S/A operates a terminal for liquid bulk covering 10 thousand square meters for handling liquefied products. Vopak’s Terminal I covers 22.6 thousand square meters and contains 36 multiple-use tanks with capacity for 44.8 cubic meters of petrochemicals. Vopak Terminal II covers 16.5 square meters and contains 11 multiple-use tanks for handling petrochemicals.
The pier for liquefied gas products is operated by CODEBA jointly with private companies. With length of 200 meters and alongside depth of 12 meters, it includes an operations platform and a mooring crib for vessels to 90 DWT. The pier covers an area of 660 square meters and is equipped with pipe systems, an access bridge, and dike that connect inland to tankage facilities. Main products handled at this pier include butadiene, ammonia, propane, naphtha, and gasoline.
Private interests operate storage areas for this pier. Tegal leases a 26.9-square meter park with three storage units with total capacity for 15 thousand cubic meters for propane, 8.2 thousand cubic meters for butadiene, 3.2 thousand cubic meters for butane, and 15 thousand cubic meters of ethane. This area is connected to the petrochemical site in Camacari by pipeline. Fafen leases a 13.7 thousand square meter facility with capacity for 30 thousand cubic meters of ammonia, also connected by pipeline to the petrochemical site in Camacari.
In 2007, almost seven million tons of cargo passed through the Port of Aratu on 704 vessels, including 4.3 million tons of international cargo and 2.4 million tons of domestic cargo. Included in this was 2 million tons of imported solid bulk and 300 thousand tons of exported solid bulk, 1.2 million tons of liquid bulk exports, and 457 thousand tons of exported gaseous products.