EIB provides EUR 200 million loan to Turkish rail project
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s financing institution, is providing EUR 200 million to Turkey for the first fixed rail connection of the European and Asian networks across the Bosphorus Straits. Mr Wolfgang Roth, EIB Vice-President whose special responsibilities include Turkey, signed the agreement earlier this week in Ankara, where he met with State Minister for the Economy, Ali Babacan and Minister of Transport, Binali Yildirim.
This is the first loan of a larger facility of up to EUR 650 million approved by the EIB for the tunnel. Financing under this facility will be phased over the period of the project's construction.
EIB Vice-President Wolfgang Roth said: "This is a milestone signature. The Bosphorus tunnel is of crucial importance for the integration of Turkey with the European Union and the development of the Union's transport network. It is not just the largest and most important infrastructure project to be undertaken so far in Turkey, it will also be a stimulus to the Turkish and European economies. It is a good example of the catalytic role the EIB can play in helping to co-finance major infrastructure projects".
The tunnel gives to the trans-european rail networks (TENS) access to Asia. It will also reduce air and noise pollution by enabling a major shift from road to rail and alleviating congestion on the road network.
Located in metropolitan Istanbul, the rail link also provides for a long-sought mass transport system for the city’s 11 million inhabitants, overcoming a natural barrier cutting the city in two. The project consists in connecting the two railway lines on the Pan-European Transport Corridor IV, presently terminating on either side of the Bosphorus, through a tunnel. With a total length of 76.53 km, the project includes the construction of 13.56 km of double track tunnel (of which 1.35 km under the sea and 12.21 km of approach tunnels), improvements to the two existing radial lines with an addition of a third track on a length of 62.97 km, 40 stations, connections with other transport networks and rolling stock. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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