Asian infrastructure bank chips in €50m more for Izmir’s metro extension

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has agreed a loan of €50m to help fund a metro extension in Turkey’s third-largest city, Izmir.

Work is already underway on the 7.2km extension of the Fahrettin Altay-Narlıdere Kaymakamlık Line, which is set to cost €300m.

With seven new stations, it will connect the city centre to western districts, and is needed to meet demand created by Izmir’s growing population and GDP.

The AIIB loan adds to loans given previously to the project by other banks.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank together have lent the scheme €130m since 2018.

Société Générale lent it €25m in May this year.

Turkish contractor Gülermak won the construction contract in June 2018, and work was reported as 57% complete in April this year.

Announcing the latest loan, AIIB vice president Konstantin Limitovskiy said: "The project enhances urban mobility and strengthens connectivity in Izmir, Turkey by improving passenger access, reducing costs and travel time.

"With increased availability of sustainable transport options, the project is fully aligned with AIIB’s Sustainable Cities Strategy."

Image: Izmir from the air (Coderenius/CC BY 4.0)

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