Papo maritime, is owned by brothers Avi, Rafi and Joseph Nakash, has agreed to pay the government NIS120m after bidding NIS100.5m last month (October) and improving on the offer twice.
The Port of Eilat, the only Israeli port on the Red Sea and located at the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba has significant economic and strategic importance. The port was opened in 1957 and is today mainly used for trading with Far East countries as it allows Israeli shipping to reach the Indian Ocean without having to sail through the Suez Canal.
The government published the tender for full-ownership of the Eilat Port Company\’s operation a year ago. The franchisee will operate the port for 15 years with an option to extend for ten more years. Exercise of the option is subject to meeting trade targets.
Some 70% of Eilat port\’s activity is dedicated to import of automobiles from the Far East. Containers of imported products have not been seen at the port since 2006, when ZIM Integrated Shipping Services suspended its container operations there and transferred its shipping routes to the Suez Canal, including Ashdod and Haifa ports.