Ashdod Port has announced that the second section of its operational project to upgrade Platform 21 is almost complete.
The project to upgrade and make Platform 21 deeper costed over a billion shekels ($31 million) and it involves making improvements including making adjustments on the backend in addition to purchasing and transferring of cranes.
At the end of the process, the new and improved platform will have a total length of 850 meters to allow for megaships of up to 24,000 TEU to dock.
The western side will be approximately 16 meters deep and suitable for large grain ships, whilst the eastern side will be reinforced to support cranes weighing 130 tons and should reach about 17.5 meters in depth.
Ashdod Port has reported that the completion of work on the eastern side of the platform has been brought forward to allow unloading of ships and address the high demand at ports in Israel and globally.
The upgrade of the eastern side, with a length of about 320 meters, has been completed over the last few days and it is now operative.
A Neptune ship was the first to arrive at the platform, unloading imported vehicles from Europe.
Shiko Zana, CEO of Ashdod Port, said in a statement: “When the work is completed, Platform 21 will be one of the most advanced platforms in Israel for unloading grain and container ships, meeting the highest international standards. The massive investment in the project includes upgrading the water line so that cranes with an improved capacity can be installed, as well as the infrastructure for cranes that can lift two containers at once.”
Zana added that the work is expected to be completed during the second half of the year.
Earlier this year in February, Ashdod Port invested in facial recognition technology for video surveillance of all cargo-handling activities for its customers.