Yisrael Katz, Israel’s transportation minister, has announced that tenders for the construction and operation of two new ports will be issued by July 1, Haaretz reports.
The new ports will be set up using the “build, operate, transfer” method, in which a private company will build each port and operate it for predetermined period of time before transferring it to the state. Each port will cost about $1 billion to build, according to Israel’s Transportation Ministry.
The tenders signal the Israeli government’s intent to move forward with reforming the nation’s ports, after pledging to end the monopolies of the ports of Ashdod and Haifa.
“I’ve decided to put an end to the situation of militant committees taking advantage of their power and receiving excessive privileges at the expense of the general public,” Katz said to a Haaretz reporter. “The committees won't have a veto to prevent competition.”
The Transportation Ministry’s refusal to hold talks with the workers committees before the tenders are issued is expected to lead to work disruptions at the ports and possibly a general strike.