UK facilitates €780m loan for Turkey’s new high-speed railway

The railway will cut four hours off the travel time from Gaziantep to Mersin, pictured, home to Turkey’s second largest container port (Enessubasi33/CC0 1.0)
UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, has underwritten €781m of financing for a 286km high-speed railway across southern Turkey.

Its Buyer Credit Facility will help contractor Rönesans Holding finish building the Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep railway, which upgrades an existing line, for Turkey’s Ministry of Transport.

The credit facility was given given on the condition that UK exporters sell goods and services to the project. UKEF expects the deal to lead to millions of pounds in exports for UK infrastructure, engineering, and project management sectors.

UK exports minister Malcolm Offord said UK exports to Turkey reached £8.5bn last year, and that an updated trade deal with the country is planned.

UKEF said Rönesans Holding has already hired UK suppliers to negotiate contracts for electronic infrastructure, ESG consultancy services, catenary and mechanical components.

UKEF worked with J.P. Morgan, ING Bank and BNP Paribas, who provided the loan, as well as SACE and OeKB – the Italian and Austrian export credit agencies providing reinsurance.

The electrified high-speed railway upgrades an older line that relies on diesel locomotives. It will carry trains travelling up to 200 km/h.

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