17 March 2022, London, UK – Standard Chartered Bank and Credit Suisse announce EUR 2.4 billion of green financing for Türkiye’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance. In partnership with the UK Export Credit Agency, UKEF, it will fund the delivery of the Ankara-Izmir high speed railway project to improve Türkiye’s transport infrastructure. To date, this is the largest financing amount arranged for the Ministry.
The project is part of the Republic of Türkiye’s broader strategic plan to transform high speed rail in the country, aiming to build a 10,000 km network of high speed rail lines by 2023. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Türkiye, acting through the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments (AYGM), is the government agency responsible for executing the plan.
The new 503.2 km electric-powered railway line will connect Ankara, Türkiye’s capital, to Izmir on the West coast, the country’s third largest city and one of its largest ports. Connecting Türkiye’s major cities brings economic, social and cultural benefits. The Ankara-Izmir will help significantly decrease city-to-city travel time, increase share of railways in passenger transportation, support tourism and improve flow of business, trade and labour. Furthermore, it will encourage a reduction in the number of cars and buses, and lower carbon dioxide emissions to help the environment.
Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse jointly acted as Joint Bookrunners, Mandated Lead Arrangers and Coordinating and Structuring Banks. ERG Group, contractor based in the UK, Switzerland and Turkey, was awarded the contract to construct the new railway.
Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse supported the Ministry of Treasury and Finance to identify and confirm the project’s eligibility, as a clean transportation project, for green loan financing and to meet the Green Loan Principles. The financing was structured for all stakeholders involved to meet internationally recognised sustainability standards, including the Equator Principles, the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and Standard Chartered’s own Green and Sustainable Product Framework 2021. Its structuring also contributes towards the Turkish government’s alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9 concerning industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Yoshi Ichikawa, Head of Structured Export Finance for Europe, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “We’re proud to further strengthen our relationship with the Turkish government, providing a loan structured with a clear focus on international social and environmental standards, and working closely with Credit Suisse and UKEF. This support is another in the line of Standard Chartered’s financing in Türkiye to help the government deliver its railway infrastructure plan.”
Mr. Serhat KÖKSAL, Ph.D., Acting Director General of Foreign Economic Relations, Ministry of Treasury and Finance of Türkiye, said: “I would like to express my gratitude to all parties for their contribution and support to this crucial Project that will connect İzmir, the 3rd largest city of our country, to Ankara. Upon completion of the Project, high standard, safe, high-speed and clean connection of the cities between Ankara and İzmir will be realized and the travel time between Ankara and Izmir will be reduced to 3 hours and 30 minutes. In order to integrate green transition under our long-term vision declaration and green development revolution, we are closely following the environmental and social governance issues during this project.”
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK government, said: “Turkey 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. It is fitting that UK Export Finance’s biggest ever civil infrastructure deal is strongly sustainable. This is a proud moment for the UK railway industry, using its industrial roots to reduce emissions in heavily polluted cities.”
The transaction follows the recently announced EUR 1.24 billion green financing by Standard Chartered for Türkiye’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance to construct the 200km Bandirma to Osmaneli railway line.
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Notes to Editor
The EUR 2.4 billion financing for the Ministry of Treasury and Finance of Türkiye to fund the delivery of the Ankara-Izmir high speed railway project comprises:
- a EUR 2,131.75 million UKEF Facility (benefiting from 100% UKEF comprehensive guarantee); and
- a EUR 324.39 million Commercial Facility.
The Commercial Facility was dated on 16 August 2021, and the UKEF Facility was dated on 17 December 2021.
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