This is part of a significant strategic process, involving an investment of about half a billion shekels in preparation for the upcoming competition, to upgrade Platform 21 and make it deeper so that megaships will be able to dock there.
The total length of Platform 21 is 850 meters. This will allow large container ships, with a length of about 400 meters and a capacity of 18 thousand containers, to dock at the port. The upgrade also includes making the eastern side of the platform deeper – about 17.5 meters – and reinforcing it so that it can support cranes weighing 130 tons; with the western side reaching a depth of about 16 meters - suitable for large grain ships.
Over the last week we have been engaged in a complex logistical process to return two ship unloaders and two general cargo cranes from Platform 21 to Platform 21. This involved operational and technological collaboration between Ashdod Port and the manufacturers and subcontractors.
The unloaders weigh about 250 tons each and the cranes weight about 450 tons each. The machinery is moved using specially-designed carts that are remotely operated with no personnel in the area. This required meticulous planning of short breaks in the port's operations so there would not be a drop in productivity.
Once the equipment is transferred, the Port intends to begin unloading grain ships on the western side of the upgraded Platform 21.
In addition, Ashdod Port Company hired 50 temporary employees for a period of up to six months and they already began to work. The company's Board of Directors approved the hiring of 50 additional temporary employees, in light of the need of 100 temporary workers to reduce the workload at the port. The additional 50 employees will join those that are already working in order to reduce the existing workload.
Shiko Zana, CEO of Ashdod Port: “ Ashdod Port's signature engineering project will upgrade the largest platform at the port and will this allow us to provide better service to the grain ships. Upgrading Platform 21 is a big step forward, which will serve as a significant operational growth engine, as the Port Company prepares for the opening of competition with the new ports in the coming months."