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The port of Haifa is Israel's oldest port, originally built by the British in 1933. The port includes the main area as well as the Kishon Port area. The port Haifa's main breakwater is 2,826 meters long and its lee breakwater is 765 meters long. The entrance to the port is 13.8 meters deep and 183 meters wide. The port of Kishon's main breakwater is 600 meters long and its lee breakwater is 350 meters long. The port of Haifa employed almost 900 workers in 2004.

Haifa is the main port of Israel's submarine fleet and serves to protect shipping to and from Israel.

A 19 September 2009 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the shipyard celebrated the opening of a critical expansion that was more than just a facelift. The $14 million project, managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, helped install several new buildings, a new pier, a new transfer pit, and various other minor structures and modernized infrastructure.

"The importance of expanding this shipyard, which is perhaps the most important in the entire Israeli Navy, cannot be understated," said Col. Margaret Burcham, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District. "From patrol boats to subs to missile boat flotillas, this shipyard plays a huge role in securing Israel's sea lanes. And we're extremely proud to have helped expand this facility."

The new shipyard facilities, which not only provide services to the private sector, but also to the Israeli Navy as well as the U.S. Navy's Sixth Fleet, were completed in a limited operational space with minimal impact to the functioning of normal shipyard duties, said Burcham to a crowd including the commander of the Israeli Navy, Aluf David Ben Ba'ashat, and the shipyard commander, Rear Adm. Ram Rothberg.

"Today we stand here knowing not only that this particular shipyard is better able to fulfill its security missions in Haifa, but also that this Navy as well as this country are demonstrating their steadfast commitment to international stability," Burcham said. "The Corps of Engineers has a proud history of service here in Israel and we're happy to help this nation maintain its qualitative military edge over other countries in the region that threaten its security."

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:51:46 ZULU