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"Tropical Rotterdam" takes shape as Batista faces trial

6.3b reais Acu port in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state finally becoming active after delays and cost overruns

Rio de Janeiro

THE last of the 66-metre-long concrete blocks sit ready to be towed out to sea as work on Latin America's most expensive private port draws to a close. For the project's mastermind, a flamboyant opening ceremony couldn't be further from reality.

The 6.3 billion reais (S$3.1 billion) Acu port project in Rio de Janeiro state is the brainchild of Brazil's most famous entrepreneur, Eike Batista. While the port is finally becoming active after delays and cost overruns, Batista is busy defending himself against insider-trading charges after his commodities empire collapsed.

Acu started operations in October, when a ship loaded with 80,000 tonnes of iron ore departed to China from a terminal...

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