Turkey, Economy

Turkey's 1st intermodal cargo terminal to open in 2020

Terminal project secures $60M foreign financing from European, Chinese banks

Gokhan Ergocun   | 12.05.2019
Turkey's 1st intermodal cargo terminal to open in 2020

ISTANBUL

Turkish logistics company Arkas Holding's intermodal inland cargo terminal project "Railport" will be launched in 2020, the president of the holding's port and terminal services group said.

The project, which has been developed for over 10 years, is a version of a port located on land -- dry port -- and it will serve for both trucks and trains, Ozgur Kalelioglu told Anadolu Agency.

A $60 million financing agreement was signed by Arkas Holding, the Europan Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Turkey during the EBRD Annual Meeting in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Thursday.

The financing will be partly financed with loans of $30 million from the EBRD and the ICBC Turkey, each.

Kalelioglu said: "The financing agreement for the project, which has around $80 million investment value, showed foreign confidence in Turkey."

The German logistics company Duisport, which operates the world's largest intermodal cargo terminal, has around one-third of the stakes in Railport, Kalelioglu said.

He said the Railport project will be a part of China's "One Belt and One Road", also known as "Belt and Road", an ambitious project to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks to increase trade and stimulate economic growth.

"Railport will integrate Turkey's trade with Asian trade," Kalelioglu said.

Sea transport from China to the Black Sea takes around one month, but the railway is faster, Kalelioglu said.

The project will be built on a nearly 400-square-meter area in Turkey's northwestern industrial province Kocaeli, he said.

He said the Railport will have a 120,000-vehicle and 100,000-container storage capacity.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD's managing director for sustainable infrastructure, said at the signing ceremony in Sarajevo: "Arkas’ Railport combines various modes of transport in an innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly way."

"It demonstrates what private sector involvement can achieve for better trade and regional integration and we are very happy to support this milestone infrastructure project in Turkey," she added.

The EBRD has said in a press release that the project will benefit trade among European, Balkan and Central Asian countries.

Arkas Holding plans to build a similar terminal in Turkey's southern Mediterranean province of Mersin for traffic between the Northern Africa, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.

The holding, established in 1902, has over 20 foreign offices, and 7,000 employees.

Since 2009, the EBRD has invested nearly €11 billion (approximately $13 billion) in Turkey -- a top destination for the bank’s finance -- through more than 280 projects.

ICBC Turkey is the first Chinese bank that started operations in Turkey by acquiring majority shares of a local bank in May 2015.

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