Ashdod port increases crane capacity to boost competitiveness
ISRAEL's port of Ashdod is raising the height of two ship-to-shore (STS) cranes by nine metres to 44 metres and their reach by 5
ISRAEL's port of Ashdod is raising the height of two ship-to-shore (STS) cranes by nine metres to 44 metres and their reach by 5.5 metres to 60.5 metres at a cost of EUR8 million (US$9.14 million) to fend off competition by being able to handle 14,000 TEU vessels.
The work was commissioned by the facility's operator, the Ashdod Port Company, to prepare for the stiffer competition that the port will face when the new, privately-owned Southport Terminal opens in Ashdod in 2021, reported London's Container Management magazine.
Ashdod Port Company CEO Isaac Blumenthal said: 'The sea ports are undergoing a dramatic revolution. Our preparations for the era of competition will benefit Ashdod port and its customers.
'The decision to open the ports industry to competition and to build an additional port in Ashdod is not just a change in regulation. This is a change to the entire situation.'
The crane upgrades will be completed by Kalmar and the first crane will be ready for operation at the end of June.
In recent months the port has also deepened its platforms and leased new tugboats to handle larger vessels, as well as installed automated gates, an appointment scheduling system and a simulator for training crane operators in a technological drive to prepare for the new competition.
Mr Blumenthal added: 'These investments are required for the arrival of mega ships and international lines of services to meet the needs of Israeli importers and exporters who do business with the Far East.'
The Southport Terminal will open at around the same time that another privately-run terminal, the Bayport Terminal, opens near the country's other state-owned port, Haifa. Southport will be operated by Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), while Bayport will be operated by the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG).
Both will be considerably larger than their state-backed counterparts, being able to handle 18,000 TEU vessels compared to Ashdod's and Haifa's limit of 14,000 TEU containerships.