The UK government, via its export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF), has announced a £680 million ($872 million or €781 million) underwriting for a high-speed electrified railway project in southern Türkiye.
This move aims to assist Turkish conglomerate Ronesans Holding in completing a 177-mile electric railway that will connect the southern provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep.
This railway project, by virtue of being electric, is expected to significantly cut CO2 emissions by over 150,000 tons annually. In addition, it presents lucrative, multimillion-pound export contract opportunities for the UK’s infrastructure, engineering, and project management sectors.
Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister, Mehmet Simsek, highlighted the industrial importance and the rich cultural heritage of Mersin, Adana, and Gaziantep. He stressed that the project would substantially reduce transportation costs and travel time between Mersin and Gaziantep, leading to economic, social, and environmental integration.
“The primary goal of the project is to enhance rail connectivity and establish a sustainable alternative transportation scheme in Türkiye. We eagerly anticipate more fruitful collaborations, driving Türkiye’s development,” Simsek added.
UKEF’s funding has been conditionally granted, requiring that UK exporters supply to the project. Minister for Exports, Malcolm Offord, noted that this provision aligns with the government’s priorities to support continuous economic growth in the UK. Rönesans Holding has already initiated negotiations with UK suppliers for contracts encompassing electronic infrastructure, ESG consultancy services, and mechanical components.
Ronesans Holding President, Erman Ilicak, commented on the environmental benefits of the project, stating that it offers a lower-carbon travel alternative while significantly enhancing the region’s industrial connectivity and trade.
John Meakin, J.P. Morgan’s global head of export and agency finance, labelled the transport link, designed for trains traveling up to 124 mph, as a remarkable advancement for regional infrastructure and growth. (AA)