Bidding Opens for Billion Dollar Container Terminals

YERUSHALAYIM -

Eight companies are bidding for rights to the construction of a one-billion shekel port in Israel, Globes reported.

Sources say that Ashtrom Properties and Shafir Civil and Marine Engineering are the two Israeli companies participating in the tender.

The bidding is for a prequalification stage for the construction of new container terminals at Haifa Bay Port and/or the Ashdod South Port. The current tender is for extending the current breakwater, building secondary breakwaters and wharfs, and dredging.

Opposition to the plan has emerged from the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) and workers’ committees at Ashdod Port Company and Haifa Port Company, which have deemed a decision to build privately to be tantamount to a declaration of war.

The bidders were not officially named, but identified only as companies from Israel, China, Europe and South Africa.

Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz expressed satisfaction with the number of bidders in the PQ stage of the international tender. “The development of the seaports is critical for the economy. There is great importance in the rapid development of the ports to meet the expected growth in trade, and to handle big ships,” he said.

The Ports Development Company said that after the tender’s PQ stage, the second technical and financial stage would proceed following approval by the transport and finance ministries.

Ports Development Company CEO Shlomo Brieman said that within ten years, Israel will need two new container terminals, the first of which must begin operating by 2018.