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Rönesans Holding spearheads construction of 286km electric railway in southern Turkiye

Christian Fernsby |
Rönesans Holding announces its commitment to the construction of a transformative 286km electric railway network in southern Turkiye, connecting major cities through a high-speed, low-carbon route.

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This landmark project, authorised by the Turkish Ministry of Transport, will not only bolster international relations and the volume of export between Turkiye and the UK but also contribute significantly to the region's economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Operating at speeds of up to 200 km/h, this high-speed rail link will reduce travel time from Gaziantep to Mersin from six hours to two hours – the second largest container port in Turkiye and a thriving city of over one million people – by four hours, with the improved transportation connectivity expected to generate a significant economic boost to the area.

The financing for this project has been supported by the UK government's export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), which has underwritten €781m of funding (equivalent to £680m) of the €923 million total project financing.

The loan was provided by a number of global financial institutions, including JP Morgan, ING, and BNP Paribas. This pan-European deal also includes involvement from Italian and Austrian export credit agencies, SACE and OeKB, who will be providing the necessary reinsurance to secure the project for Turkish rail infrastructure.

UKEF's support for the railway project opens new multimillion-pound export contract opportunities for collaboration between UK suppliers and Rönesans Group.

Discussions are already underway to negotiate contracts for essential components, including signalling equipment, ESG consultancy services, and mechanical components.

The project's success is aligned with the growth in national production and construction outputs experienced this year, promising even greater prospects for UK exporters.

This ambitious railway project will play a crucial role in Turkiye's efforts to achieve its environmental goals and increase high-speed railway coverage in the country to 10,000km.

Spanning a distance greater than that between Cardiff and London, the railway will enable faster and more efficient travel, benefitting regional infrastructure and growth.

It will also establish strategic connections with airports, ports, and industrial zones in the hinterlands, including many major cities like Adana and Gaziantep, as well as larger cities in Southeastern Anatolia such as Hatay, Diyarbakır, and Şanlıurfa, and also Central Anatolia.

The electric railway will replace the current diesel locomotive-operated railway, providing a lower-carbon and more sustainable alternative between Mersin and Gaziantep.

Project forecasts indicate that the completed route will save an impressive 157,000 tonnes in CO2e emissions in its first year alone.

By reducing travel time and increasing the usage of railways, it will alleviate traffic congestion and accidents on highways, while promoting a much more sustainable transportation system by reducing carbon emissions.

The project also plays a significant part in the wider reconstruction efforts following the devastating twin earthquakes that struck Turkiye in February 2023.

By contributing to the rebuilding of Gaziantep, Osmaniye, and other areas severely impacted by the disaster, the railway will aid in the region's recovery and growth.

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