New UK finance package announced for high-speed electric rail in Turkey

New UK finance package announced for high-speed electric rail in Turkey

The UK government has announced £680m in financing for a new high-speed electric railway in Turkey. The line, which will connect the cities of Adana and Mersin, is expected to be completed in 2027.

The project is a joint venture between the UK Export Finance (UKEF) and the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and will see UKEF provide £500m in loan guarantees, while the Turkish government will provide the remaining £180m.

The new railway will be a major boost for the Turkish economy. It is expected to create around 10,000 jobs during construction and 2,000 jobs once it is operational. Alongside the boost to the economy, the new line will help reduce traffic in the Adana province.

In a statement, UKEF said that the project would "support the UK's strategic objective of deepening our economic relationship with Turkey". The agency added that the project would "create jobs and boost economic growth in both countries".

New trains travelling up to speeds of 200kph will also run on the new line, and offer a lower-emission option, that will it is hoped reduce emissions by over 150,000 tonnes a year.

The Turkish government has also welcomed the announcement. In a statement, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said that the project would "help to improve connectivity between the two cities". The ministry added that the line would "also help to reduce carbon emissions".

The new railway is part of Turkey's ambitious plans to expand its high-speed rail network. The country already has a number of high-speed lines in operation, including the Ankara-Istanbul line, which is the longest high-speed railway in Europe.

The current railway relies on diesel locomotives on the busy route, which includes Mersin, Turkey’s second busiest container port.

The new railway is expected to be a major boost for the Turkish economy and a symbol of the growing ties between the UK and Turkey.

Lord Offord, minister of exports, said: “The UK-Turkey trading relationship is going from strength to strength. Last year, UK exports to Turkey reached £8.5 billion, and this week we announced plans for an updated trade deal that will further boost exports and imports between our countries.

“UK Export Finance’s backing for this transformative high-speed railway adds to this success story. This deal shows that the UK, home to the world’s first railway system, still moves full steam ahead with its export of railroad innovation and expertise.”

Photo Credit: Istock

Video Credit: UKEF

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