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Israel sells its major Haifa port to India firm for $1.2bn

July 18, 2022 at 9:43 am

This picture shows container and cranes on the dock of Haifa port, on 24 June 2021 [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images]

The Israeli government has sold the port in Haifa to an Indian firm along with an Israeli company for 4.1 billion shekels ($1.2 billion), international news agencies reported yesterday.

The media reports emerged two days following the tweet posted by India’s Adani Group Chairman, Gautam Adani: “Delighted to win the tender for privatization of the Port of Haifa in Israel with our partner Gadot.”

He also wrote that winning the tender had “immense strategic and historical significance for both nations! Proud to be in Haifa, where Indians led, in 1918, one of the greatest cavalry charges in military history!”

Adani will hold a 70 per cent stake and Gadot will hold the remaining 30 per cent, Reuters reported.

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Global supply chains have been hit over the past year by lack of staffing at ports, lockdowns and a strain on available ships for hire as vessels get stuck due to congestion in many parts of the world, Reuters said.

It noted that about 98 per cent of all goods move in and out of Israel by sea and the government has been upgrading the sector to maintain economic growth.

Haifa is Israel’s leading deep water port and handled about half the country’s freight volume in 2021.

“The privatisation of the port of Haifa will increase competition at the ports and lower the cost of living,” Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.

Haifa Port said the new group will operate the port until 2054 and that along with containers it will now be able to focus on handling general cargo and hosting cruises.