By Tuba Sahin
ANKRA (AA) - Three global lenders are providing loans to finance the construction of a new metro line in Istanbul.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has arranged a €97.5 million ($106.6 million) syndicated loan, of which French bank Societe Generale will provide a tranche of €20 million ($22 million), the EBRD said in a statement on Thursday.
An additional loan of €77.5 million ($84.7 million) will be extended separately by the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), which is based in Greece and serves the 11 founding members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), including Turkey.
The new 13-kilometer line project will cost €410 million ($448 million) and is expected to add a total of 350,000 passengers a day to the city’s rail transport network.
The construction of the new metro line will be complemented by two depot tunnels for rolling stock and a single connection tunnel.
"The project is remarkable as it addresses some of the key challenges facing Istanbul, such as improving urban transport and reducing environmental pollution, bringing tangible improvements to people’s lives," said Arvid Tuerkner, the EBRD managing director for Turkey.
Since 2009, the EBRD, a leading institutional investor in Turkey, has invested in excess of €11.5 billion (some $13 billion) in more than 300 projects.