The four global companies are the Dutch company Terminal Investment Ltd. (TIL), the world's largest port operator, and a subsidiary of Switzerland's MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA; Germany's Eurogate AG, an operator of container terminals in Europe; Philippine's International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and China's Shanghai International Port (Group) Co.
The companies that pass the prequalification stage will enter the request for proposal (RFP) stage. The winner will plan, finance, and build the port's operating areas, including electricity, water, and communications infrastructures, and buildings.
It will also procure the operating equipment, such as cranes and vehicles. If it goes ahead, the ports project will mark a major step forward in the government’s efforts to break powerful public sector monopolies and the unions that dominate them.
Israel’s two biggest ports are run by state-owned enterprises, but costly labor practices and abuses at the ports cost the economy some NIS 5 billion a year, according to a report compiled by the Antitrust Authority in 2009. The move will also represent a major undertaking for the economy, with the cost of developing each of the two ports estimated at US$1.1 billion.
In addition, the cost of constructing the transportation infrastructure will require some NIS 700 million at each port. In a press release Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz noted that "Construction of the new ports is going ahead at full speed. Two new ports will be built at the same time.
The public good will be the only determining factor. There will be competition, efficiency, and the freedom to choose the service provider." Shlomo Breiman CEO Israel Ports Development & Assets Company Ltd. noted that "The company is ready to meet the country's needs and is working hard on the new ports' projects."
Breiman added that "In addition to moving forward in the tender for the new ports' operations by international companies, which will bring high international standards of operation and service, we are moving ahead in the tender to choose the contractors which will build the ports.