Operator of China’s largest port Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has won a tender to operate the new port being developed in Haifa Bay, Israel Ports Company said.
Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd. (“SIPG”) is majority-owned by the Shanghai SASAC with state-owned China Merchants Group as its second largest shareholder. SIPG is the largest joint-stock port operator in China by equity throughput. SIPG operates all the public container and bulk terminals in port of Shanghai, specializing in container and bulk/ break-bulk cargo handling, port logistics and port services with extended business covering pilotage, towing, tallying, feeder service, warehousing, freight forwarding, container truck drayage and international cruise business.
The construction of the new port is scheduled to begin this year and the port is expected to start operations in 2021. According to the country’s Minister of Transport, Yisrael Katz, the entry of international operators into the Israeli port market represents a dramatic turning point in the country. He stressed that the Chinese team that won the tender will most certainly boost competition in Haifa.
The new Haifa facility itself is being built by Shapir Engineering and Ashtrom, two Israeli companies, at a cost of 4 billion shekels (US$1 billion). Sources said SPGI it expected to invest another 1 billion shekels in equipment and upgrading infrastructure before operation can begin. The new terminals are to be built on land that will be reclaimed and will feature facilities that have been designed to handle EEE class vessels.
At full construction, the terminals will have two quays with a total length of some 1600m, with maximum waterside depth of 17.3m. The winning operator will be
expected to complete the terminal development and then equip, operate and maintain the facility for the duration of the contractual period.
SIPG will pay a license fee for all cargo moving through the port as well as annual usage fees for the facility amounting to 65 shekels a square meter, all of which should generate tens of millions of shekels of income annually for the state. Katz said that the Ministry of Transport and Israel Ports are determined to make the new Haifa port the driving force of Israeli economy, operated in accordance with the international standards.