It was also the first time Chinese enterprises exported advanced technology and management experience about smart ports to a developed country as part of its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, reported Beijing's China Global Television Network.
Haifa's travelling crane and storage yard are both operated by an automated system, just like at Shanghai's fourth phase Yangshan Deep-Water Port, which is now the world's biggest automated container terminal, said SIPG vice president Fang Huaijin.
The remote operation system and automated equipment in the new port are also similar to the ones at Yangshan Port, Mr Fang said. But SIPG made adjustments to local conditions in terms of the remote connections to trucks, shipping agencies and freight forwarders.
The port will be the most efficient one in Israel, according to Mr Fang.
Under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), SIPG won the operating rights of Haifa New Port in 2015, beating international competitors. In 2018, SIPG officially launched the construction project.
Construction on the Haifa New Port Terminal project was planned in two phases. The first was an 805.5-metre shoreline terminal that will have an annual container throughput of more than one million TEU. The second phase will be 715.7 metres long with an annual container throughput of 800,000 TEU.
'With the advanced technology and rich experience provided by SIPG, we hope the new port will not only serve Israel's demands, but also become a regional logistics hub to serve gulf countries, or even the whole Middle East,' said Izak Blumenthal, CEO of Israel Ports Company.
Wang Shuming, deputy director of the Shanghai Centre for Jewish Studies, said Chinese companies have participated in a great deal of Israeli infrastructure projects, but on most of them, they just handled construction and then turned the projects over to locals.
Mr Wang pointed out that as Haifa's operations mature over the next 25 years, it may lead more countries and regions along the Belt and Road to want to work with Chinese companies on larger infrastructure projects.