The company replaced the Israel Port Authority in 2005 as the public entity responsible for the country’s three commercial sea ports, Haifa and Ashdod on the Mediterranean coast and Eilat on the Red Sea. In 2006, container traffic at Haifa and Ashdod exceeded 1.7m teu, with Haifa alone accounting for 1,053m teu, according to Container Management’s World Top Container Ports.
The plan has been developed over the past 18 months as a joint effort by an international and local team that included port planners and designers, marine engineers, economists, strategic planners, environmental specialists, traffic engineers, industrial engineers and others. It provides a vision for the long-term development of Haifa and Ashdod ports in a phased approach based on demand growth, with special emphasis on introducing increased competition and participation of the private sector into the Israeli port industry.
Its highlights include the potential for developing a number of independent container terminals with a minimum quay length of 1,000 m (3,280 ft) and a terminal width of 450–500 m (1,460–1,640 ft). According to the company, the terminals will be designed to accommodate Suez-max container ships with “dimensions similar to the latest Maersk vessels”.