"Investing in Haifa will help strengthen relations between Shanghai port and other ports along the Maritime Silk Road and form a closer trade network between Shanghai port and ports in Europe," Chen Xuyuan, chairman of SIPG said in comments to Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The $1 billion expansion of the existing Haifa port is currently under construction by Shapir Engineering and the Ashtrom group. The ambitious plans involve dredging approximately 18 million cubic meters of sand to allow access for the largest modern ships and increased capacity.
Israeli Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz has hailed the multi-billion investment “an expression of confidence in the State of Israel on the part of a superpower," and hopes it will turn Haifa into an “international cargo centre for all the world."
In total SIPG will invest around $2 billion in equipment and construction at the harbour and will oversee development of a 700 metre quay that will ultimately be extended to 1,500 metres. SIPG is expected to commence its concession from 2021 onwards.
"SIPG is bringing its capabilities to the port's development, and it will of course strengthen the relations between China and Israel. And I am happy for that," Katz added.