FORMER AMBASSADOR of Israel to India Ron Malka Sunday said he has taken over the charge as Executive Chairman of Haifa Port Company (HPC), which is owned by a consortium of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) and Israel’s Gadot Group.
“I’m honored and privileged to take office today as Executive Chairman of the Haifa Port Company, on behalf of @AdaniOnline. The experience and expertise of Adani and Gadot, combined with the dedication of the port workers, will take Haifa Port to new heights of prosperity,” his tweet read.
The Adani Group did not respond to queries on the appointment.
In July 2022, a consortium of India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) and Israel’s Gadot Group won the tender for privatizing the Port of Haifa, the second largest port in Israel handling over half of Israel’s container cargo.
Through the winning bid of $1.18bn, the Adani-Gadot consortium has secured the rights to buy 100 per cent shares of HPC.
The APSEZ-Gadot Group consortium completed the acquisition of HPC from the government of Israel on January 10, 2023. While APSEZ holds 70 per cent in the project, Gadot holds the balance 30 per cent. The concession period of Haifa port is up to 2054.
Located in northern Israel, Haifa is one of Israel’s two biggest commercial ports, handles nearly half of Israel’s container cargo, and is also a principal port for passenger traffic and cruise ships. The existing infrastructure at Haifa Port includes two container terminals and two multi-cargo terminals.
Ron Malka, who was named Israel’s ambassador to India in 2018, was not a career diplomat, but had a strong business and finance background. An MBA with a PhD in economics, he was brought to impart focus and direction to economic ties between the two countries.
Malka provided financial advice and guidance to companies and institutions in the Israeli market, and international companies in public and private projects. In addition, he had served as economic advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Commission to review the defence budget.
During his stay, discussions on the India-Israel Free Trade Agreement and the Haifa port project picked pace. The Covid-19 pandemic that struck in early 2020, however, broke the momentum. Upon his return to Israel in the latter half of 2021, Malka was named the Director General of the Israel’s Ministry of Economy, which is equivalent to Commerce and Industry Secretary in the Indian government. The Ministry of Economy in the Israeli government looks after Commerce, Industry and Labour.
The total developed quay length of the Haifa port measures over 2,900 metres. The maximum draft available ranges from 11 metres to 16.5 metres. It has a Roll-on Roll-off (RORO), a cruise terminal with various passenger facilities and a waterfront length of 2 km for development. During 2021, HPC handled 1.46 million TEUs of containers, 2.56 million tons of general and bulk cargo.
Source: Indian Express