THE British government’s export credit agency UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that it is underwriting a €781m loan to Rönesans Holding of Turkey that will enable it to complete construction of the 286km Adana - Gaziantep line.

The guarantee has been provided on the condition that British companies will supply goods and services for the project. UKEF says that Rönesans has already engaged with British suppliers to negotiate contracts for electronic, catenary and mechanical components, as well as the provision of environmental, social and governance (ESG) consultancy services.

Used by passenger trains operating at up to 200km/h, the Adana - Gaziantep line is forecast to cut CO2 emissions by 157,000 tonnes in its first year of operation alone.

UKEF says that the project will also contribute to reconstruction in Gaziantep, Osmaniye and other areas of southern Turkey that were struck by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in February.

Supporting a contract worth a total of €818m, the €781m loan which UKEF has guaranteed is being provided by J P Morgan, ING Bank and BNP Paribas. The loan includes €116m that is being reinsured by Austrian export credit agency OeKB and €174m guaranteed by its Italian counterpart SACE.

J P Morgan acted as both the arranging and the agent bank for the provision of the loan. ING Bank and BNP Paribas acted as mandated lead arrangers and original lenders for facilities making up the UKEF-backed financing. Clifford Chance acted as legal counsel.

“This deal shows that Britain, home to the world’s first railway system, still moves full steam ahead with its export of railway innovation and expertise,” says trade minister, Lord Offord.

“Our fruitful collaboration with British exporters has secured €781m in financing for the transformative railway in southern Turkey, adding tremendous value to the cooperation between Turkey and British exports and services while paving the way for exciting global partnerships,” says Rönesans Holding president, Dr Erman Ilıcak.

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