Dubai: A Chinese construction firm has commenced construction of a new privately owned port at Ashdod, Israel.
Workers at the nearby Haifa port have gone on strike in protest to the competition and threat to jobs posed by the new port to existing state-owned facilities. This is the second time in a month that workers at Haifa have left their positions.
A subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Co is building the 3.3bn shekel ($876m) private port in Ashdod. A contract for the private Haifa port has yet to be awarded.
Israel is looking to break up the monopoly of the state-owned ports in Haifa and Ashdod. A three-year privatisation plan for state-owned companies has been announced by Israel’s Finance Ministry. The plan calls for selling off Ashdod port in 2015 and Haifa port in 2016. [29/10/14]