Israel readies for mega-vessels as Haifa Bay Port officially opened

The city and the port

The $1.7 billion Bay Port at Haifa in Israel has officially been opened.

Operated by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), the automated container port will enable larger classes of cargo ships carrying 18,000 TEU or greater to dock in Israel, Reuters recently reported.

Israel is selling state-owned ports and ushering in landlord models to bring down costs, the news agency added.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported on 1 September that the ceremony to inaugurate the new port in the northern Israeli coastal city of Haifa was held online, with Israeli Transportation and Road Safety Minister Merav Michaeli saying the new port opened a new gateway to the world.

In Haifa, Michaeli said that for the first time in Israel, ships with a capacity of 15,000 TEU can be seen berthed in the new port of Haifa.

Around 99% of all goods move and out of Israel over sea.

“I’m sure we can leverage this opportunity not just for local prosperity, but for realising opportunities and making a real contribution to our neighbors in the Middle East,” Michaeli added.

In May 2015, the Israel Port Development and Assets Corporation and SIPG signed an agreement in Tel Aviv, Israel, officially granting SIPG the right to operate the new port of Haifa for 25 years, beginning from 2021.

The construction of the port was officially launched in 2018, planned in two phases. The first phase, with a 805.5m shoreline length terminal, has been completed.

The second-phase terminal shoreline length is 715.7m.

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