This will be the first time that the privately-owned company will operate as a port. The first ship is expected to arrive in Haifa from Brazil between September 5 and September 25 and to carry 9,000 tons of sugar.
In the first stage, Israel Shipyards Ltd will only use one 200-meter (656-feet) platform and a storage area of 1 acre. This is only a small part of the area the company is leasing at the Haifa Port.
The company will provide unloading and storage services and maintenance of vessels, using a shipyard which can carry up to 1,500 tons. The permit given to the company will be valid for 50 years.
Israel Shipyards Ltd plans to ask the government for a permit to unload additional goods at the port.
Some 200 people work at the shipyard today. The company's managers are hoping to recruit hundreds of additional employees to operate the port.
"This is a great day," said Shlomi Fogel, co-owner of Israel Shipyards Ltd. "I am very excited and hope this will be the beginning of a new era, which will provide the State of Israel with many job openings, as well as goods which have yet to reach the country."
Israel Shipyards Ltd was founded as a governmental company in 1959, and was privatized in 1995 after losing about $200 million.