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Israel began privatization of Eilat Port

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Sunday, April 24th, 2011

As reported in Port2PortThis is the first stage in the privatization of Israel’s seaports. The government plans to sell its entire stake in the Eilat Port Company to a private franchisee for about NIS 100 million 
 
The Government Companies Authority published an announcement last Monday that it was selling the government’s holdings in the Port of Eilat. The announcement began the prequalification stage of bidders in the tender for the sale of the government’s stake in the Eilat Port Company Ltd.
 
Government sources noted that this is the first stage in the privatization of Israel’s seaports. The government plans to sell its entire stake in the Eilat Port Company to a private franchisee for about NIS 100 million. The government plans to sell its entire holding in the port to a private company, preferably a strategic investor, which would get an initial 15 year operating concession with an option for a further 10 years.
 
Eilat handles about 6% of the merchandise arriving by sea in Israel. Its 45% share of Israel’s vehicle imports represents 65% of the port’s activity. This past year saw the export of 2.25 million tons of fertilizer and the establishment of an advanced passenger terminal which processed more than 10,000 travelers, a number matched in the first two months of 2011. The port, which employs 130 people, had revenues of 124 million shekels in 2010.
 
The Port of Eilatis Israel’s only port on the Red Sea. It offers access to the country’s cargo market without crossing the Suez Canal. With a 1,732-foot main quay and 39 feet of water depth, Eilat mainly handles imports of cars and exports of minerals and chemicals. In 2010, the Eilat Port exported 2.3 million tons of chemicals to Asia.
 
45% of Israel’s cars are imported through the Eilat Port. 120,000 cars passed through the port in 2010, down from the 140,000 cars that passed through in the peak year before the global credit crisis.                                                                                             
 
The Government Companies Authority said it intends to complete the sale of shares during the current year using a multi-stage process.