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UK unveils $872M in financing for high-speed electric railway in Türkiye

The UK government announced Monday that it is financing the construction of a high-speed electrified railway in southern Türkiye. 

The announcement came from the UK government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), which has underwritten €781 million ($872 million or £680 million) for the project. The construction will enable Turkish conglomerate Ronesans Holding to complete a 286-kilometer (177-mile) electric railway connecting the southern provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep.

The railway is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by over 150,000 tons annually.

The deal is projected to create new, multimillion-pound export contract opportunities for the UK’s infrastructure, engineering, and project management sectors.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek underlined the importance of Mersin, Adana, and Gaziantep for being highly industrialized and their deep-rooted cultural heritage.

This project will cut transportation costs while decreasing travel time between Mersin and Gaziantep, stressed Simsek.

“In this regard, this project is crucial for economic, social, and environmental integration,” Simsek noted, adding:

“The most important aim of the project is to improve the rail connectivity and create a sustainable alternative transportation scheme in Türkiye. We look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with new projects on the way of development of Türkiye.”

Minister for Exports Malcolm Offord said: “UKEF’s backing – which has been given on the condition that UK exporters supply to the project – will support continued economic growth in the UK, in line with the government’s priorities; Rönesans Holding has already engaged with UK suppliers to negotiate contracts for electronic infrastructure, ESG consultancy services, catenary and mechanical components.”

Ronesans Holding President Erman Ilicak commented: “By upgrading the existing railway line to a high standard railway line, we will be actively reducing negative environmental impact while offering a lower-carbon travel alternative and significantly enhancing the region’s industrial connectivity and trade.”

John Meakin, global head of export and agency finance at J.P. Morgan, said: “This transport link, which can carry trains traveling up to 200 km/h (124 mph), is a significant step forward for regional infrastructure and growth.”

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