The government of Israel has issued tenders for two private terminals to compete with existing facilities in Ashdod and Haifa
The Jerusalem Post
said Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz issued the tenders at a joint press conference on Wednesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
According the account in the Post
, "Netanyahu directed harsh words at the Histadrut labor federation, saying that launching the two new private ports was the government's right" and that the new facilities would "bring down prices on consumer goods."
Port of Haifa
"Nobody will stop us. I am not prepared to accept this monopoly, it's over. I say to the Histadrut that it's over. Two thousand people will not be allowed to have a strangle-hold on us and shut down the economy at their will. Nothing will deter us," he said.
newspaper said there are plans to build new terminals in both Haifa and Ashdod
and they "will mark a major step forward in efforts to break powerful public sector monopolies and the unions that dominate them."
said the estimated cost of building each terminal would be $1.1 billion, plus an additional $190 million for transportation infrastructure.
It said if there is no interest from overseas bidders, or it becomes apparent that bidders do not believe it to be economically feasible to develop two private ports, the government will rescind one of the two tenders within 90 days after publication.
Responding to the announcement, the Haifa Port Co. issued a statement saying it was “ready for any competition – with new productivity records."
Mendi Zaltzman, chief executive officer of Haifa Port Co., said "No
one can claim for a lack of productivity in Haifa Port. We do our best
to give outstanding service, and we succeed in all the challenged
milestones we marked for ourselves. Our achievements were noticed by all
the major shipping lines, and we are happy to give transshipment
services both for the Golden Gate Service of MSC and for all the
Mediterranean transshipment of ZIM. We still have room for more lines.
We are ready for any competition."
Haifa Port Co. said in June its terminals averaged 29.4 container moves per crane hour for all the terminals, and over 32 containers per crane hour in the most advanced terminal in Israel, the Carmel Terminal.
“Comparing to an average of 23.7 per hour achieved on 2011, this is a big step forward (+24 percent), and we are very proud in the huge gap between Haifa's productivity and the other container ports in Israel," the company said.
“This productivity allowed Haifa Port to take back the lead in domestic containers after five years that Ashdod was the leader: In 2013 the market share is 52 percent in Haifa and 48 percent in Ashdod. For domestic and transshipment it is 61 percent Haifa and 39 percent Ashdod.
the Asia-Europe trade," it added. - Chris Dupin