Israeli Government Approves First Stage Development of 50-Year Strategic Master Plan
On May 27, 2007, the Israel government has approved the first stage development of the Israel Ports Company recently completed fifty year strategic development master plan.
The master plan was developed as a joint effort by an international and local team that included Royal Haskoning port planners and designers, marine engineers, economists, strategic planners, environmental specialists, traffic engineers, industrial engineers and others. The plan provides a vision for the long term, as well as short 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 in the Israeli port industry.
The plan highlights include the potential to develop a number of independent container terminals with a
minimum quay length of 1,000m and a terminal width of 600m. The terminals will be designed to accommodate Suez-max container ships with dimensions similar to the latest Maersk vessels. The plan considers the potential to attract further transshipment, as well as transit traffic, as changes in the geopolitical situation allow. Road and rail improvements that will improve inland cargo delivery times are outlined so that the appropriate bodies address such transport needs.
Investing in the Present- Looking for the Future
A long term port development plan is necessary in light of the competition between various shoreline users (i.e. military, power plants, ports, desalination plants, recreational and urban development, etc.) for Israel's limited coastline. Considering that over 98% of Israel's international commerce moves via its seaports and that container traffic has been and is expected to continue to double every ten years, failure to plan ahead and dedicate coastline for seaport development will inhibit Israel's economic development and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
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