Turkey: Istanbul metro to benefit from EIB loan
Luxembourg, Luxemburg – Istanbul metro is to benefit from a EUR 700 m loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The loan will support the city’s ongoing extension and modernisation of the metro which will contribute to the improvement of safety and operational efficiency of the public transport system.
The projects foresees a 17 km track extension on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, the Üsküdar-Umraniye line, in addition to a 8 km line on the Western side of the city running from Levent to Haciosman. The extended metro will provide connectivity to some under-serviced areas which have either undergone development in recent years or been identified as congestion hotspots.
The aim of the project is two-fold: to extend the existing metro system and to integrate the city’s various public transport networks (light railway, tram and bus). The end result will be an efficient transport system in one of the world’s largest metropolises.
Minister of State, Mehmet Şimşek; Finance Minister, Kemal Unakıtan and Istanbul’s Mayor, Kadir Topbaş attended the loan signature ceremony today in Istanbul. EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen confirmed to attendees that “the EIB will continue to play a key role in the financing of the country’s transport sector. Priority will be given to the much needed improvements in urban transport which will ultimately benefit residents, tourism and businesses.”
Mr. Topbaş welcomed the new operation with the EIB in the development of the city’s transport system and underlined the importance of the project. With a constantly increasing number of passengers, it is important to cater for them in the best way possible.
The building works on the Istanbul metro are due to be completed by 2013 with the trains in full operation.
The EIB is under the EU’s Pre-Accession Mandate one of the largest investors in Turkey, having committed since the beginning of its operations more than EUR 9 bn. The Istanbul metro project complements previous loans for urban infrastructure in Turkey dedicated to a large variety of projects including the Bosphorus tunnel, the financing of air traffic control system, port modernisation, road building and improvement, acquisition of rolling stock, construction and upgrading of various railway links and the modernisation of tram networks. Other key sectors of the Bank’s financing in Turkey are energy, telecom, environment, health and education and SME’s.