The Port of Ashdod, one of Israel’s two main cargo ports, is to invest ILS412 million (USD116 million) in an innovative array of equipment, which will include automated equipment along the quays in order to prepare for competition with the opening of other ports in the country and to prepare Quay 21 for mega-container ships.
Quay 21 will be upgraded to handle 18,000 teu vessels, up from the current 9,000 teu capacity.
Dr Yehuda Heimlich, business development director, told DPC, “In order to get 18,000 teu vessels in, you have to dredge to about 17.3 m next to the berth.”
Dr Heimlich added, “The basin all around the port has to be dredged, as well as the entrance to the canal. This will be a major dredging project and is part of the big investment of ILS1 billion, which is for reinforcing the quay wall and dredging. 2.5 m will be taken from the berth to make a new wall of about 20 m, which will enable dredging to 17.3 m.” The area of the basin to be dredged is about 200 m in one direction and 600 m in the other direction.
The tender for the dredging has not been awarded at the time of writing.
Among other equipment, the port will purchase electrified rubber-tyre gantry cranes at a cost of ILS157 million. The board of directors has chosen the green option from the perspective of energy savings and carbon dioxide reduction.
The port also bought four ship-to-shore cranes valued at ILS220 million for future automated work. In addition, a transformer room will be built at a cost of ILS35 million.
This new equipment will enable future automatic unloading of containers.
In addition, the port plans to open a new central automatic gateway for trucks, which will use biometrics and other systems for identifying drivers, trucks, and containers. The project will include 32 lanes, each with weighing machinery for trucks, camera tracking for trucks, internet applications that will enable online response to drivers’ questions, and SMS updates.