BRAZILIAN freight operators VLI and Copi have launched a new fertilizer import corridor between the Port of Itaqui, in São Luís, in the state of Maranhão, and VLI’s Palmeirante Integration Terminal (Tipa), in the state of Tocantins.

Copi will load the fertilizer onto VLI trains at the Port of Itaqui, which will proceed to Tipa where Copi has specially designed and built infrastructure to receive, store and distribute the fertilizer.

The service has initially capacity for 1.5 million tonnes of raw material per year. The first major investment in the Tipa industrial hub was announced in February by Mosaic Fertilizantes, which will invest Reais 400m ($US 82.7m) in a mixing, storage and distribution unit to be installed at the VLI terminal.

The operators have invested Reais 400m in the project, including in the purchase of two locomotives and 78 wagons.

The service forms part of the Arco Norte, a strategic plan to integrate ports and transshipment stations in the states of Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia and Maranhão to boost grain exports.

Operational tests began at the end of 2022, with more than 100,000 tonnes of fertilizer already carried this year.

VLI already transports around 10 million tonnes of imported fertilizer per year.