WASHINGTON (Sep. 8)
The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank today announced authorization of a credit of $2,350,000 to Israel for the purchase of materials and equipment in the United States for the expansion of Israel’s ports.
Major improvements are planned for Israel’s port at Haifa and much of the new equipment will be put into use there. The capacity of Haifa port facilities will be increased by 50 percent, it was said.
The Bank has taken note of the congestion in the port of Haifa which has become increasingly serious. Much of the cargo entering Israel has to be unloaded by ship’s gear, which is often inadequate, because of the lack of suitable port equipment. Present unloading methods are slow and costly processes which add to the congestion in the port and delay ships waiting at anchor to unload.
It is expected that some new equipment may be installed by November when the export of citrus, Israel’s main agricultural export, get under way. This year’s crop would place an even greater strain on the already overburdened port. Equipment financed under this credit is expected not only to relieve congestion but also to result in substantial reductions in ocean freight charges by reducing ship’s turnaround time.
The credit is to be amortized over a period of 15 years and will bear interest at three and one-half percent per annum. This credit brings to $53,350,000 the total of credits established by the Bank in favor of Israel. It leaves unallocated the balance of the $100,000,000 loan authorized last January.