The UK government has announced at the UK-Türkiye Green Finance Conference in London that it agreed its largest-ever civil infrastructure export finance deal worth EUR 2.1 billion for the construction of a high-speed electric railway line between the Turkish capital of Ankara and a major port in the western province of Izmir.
Once commissioned, the new 503 km electric-powered railway line will provide a faster, lower carbon alternative to current air and highway routes between the two cities, helping to fulfil Türkiye’s climate change commitments made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) last year.
The EUR 2.1 billion green financing, the first UK-supported rail transaction in Türkiye for over 160 years, will be guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF), through its Buyer Credit Scheme, with Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered being lead arrangers of the transaction.
“We have successfully secured the closing of the landmark financing of the Ankara Izmir High-Speed Railway Project within the green loan framework,” Minister of Treasury and Finance Nureddin Nebati stated, referring to the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement signed between the UK and Türkiye in 1999. “We attach utmost importance to the environmental and social procedures and aspire to be one of the most active and important players in the rapidly growing green finance market. We are very glad for the cooperation and strong longstanding relations with the UK government, and we hope to further enhance our collaboration,” Minister Nebati added.
Meanwhile, UK Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan said, “Türkiye is a vital trading partner for the UK. Our shared global outlook on free trade and the environment is the driving force behind economic growth in our two nations. It is fitting that UKEF’s biggest ever civil infrastructure deal is strongly sustainable.”
In 2021, bilateral trade between the UK and Türkiye exceeded USD 19 billion, with total FDI inflows from the UK standing at USD 1.4 billion.