Dutch Firm to Operate Private Ashdod Port

Contract is last of four to build and operate private facilities.

Ilya Melnikov

Terminal Investment Limited, the Dutch unit of Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Company, has won an Israeli government tender to operate the planned South Port in Ashdod as a private port, one of two that will compete with state-owned facilities.

The state-owned Israel Ports Company said late on Tuesday that TIL, which operates 24 container ports around the world, won the rights to operate South Port for 25 years in exchange for user fees to be paid to the government. It defeated a competing bid by a bigger company, Germany’s Eurogate.

The tender comes a week after Israel awarded the contract to operate the new private port being developed in Haifa Bay to Shanghai International Port Group.

The contract is the last of four the government tendered to build and operate the two new private ports.

“Today we’ve completed one of the most important undertakings for the Israeli economy, with the entrance of two international companies of the first order to the Israeli port sector and the development of competition,” said Transportation Minster Israel Katz.

The private ports project, is aimed at injecting competition into the sector, where the costly and inefficient rule of powerful unions has raised prices for imported products.

South Port, expected to begin operations in 2021-22, is being built by China Harbor at a cost of 3.6 billion shekels ($910 million.) TIL is expected to invest another 1 billion shekels for equipment and training.