Israel Shipyards Industries will make a sole bid to privatise Haifa port after Dubai-based terminal operator DP World backed out of their joint bid.
Information from Israel’s Government Companies Authority, which processes tenders for state procurement, showed that DP World pulled out, while Israel Shipyards had asked to continue on its own.
“Although we have decided not to participate further in the privatisation of the Port of Haifa, we remain interested in investing in Israel as a key trade hub,” said DP World in a statement.
DP World and Israel Shipyards came together in September 2020, after former US President Donald Trump helped to normalise relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. At the time, both sides added that they were looking into starting direct container shipping services between Dubai and Haifa.
Israel is privatising state-owned ports and building new berths to liberalise the logistics sector and reduce shipping costs.
DP World’s withdrawal comes just after Kuwait, a long-time political foe of Israel, announced that it is banning direct shipping services to Israel. The move also comes three months after a container terminal built by China’s Shanghai International Port Group was inaugurated in Haifa.