One of Turkey’s key transportation projects has received backing from a duo of multitaleral institutions, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced in a statement yesterday.
The development-focused investor is teaming up with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Turkiye Is Bankasi, the country’s largest public bank, to provide a total of $267.6 million of financing to AsyaPort, a new container terminal for mega-vessels on the Sea of Marmara side of the Bosphorus. Total cost of the project is estimated at $413 million.
EBRD and IFC are respectively providing $92 million and $69 million loans for the design, build, operation and maintenance of the terminal, which is located in the town of Barbados, 130 kilometres west of Istanbul. Turkiye Is Bankasi is lending $106.6 million.
AsyaPort, poised to become the country’s first trans-shipment hub for cargo bound for Black Sea ports, will be able to handle mega-vessels of up to 18,000 TEUs. It will thereby alleviate a significant bottleneck on container shipment in the Bosphorus, which can presently only accommodate vessels with carrying capacities of up to 6,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), the standard measure for containers.
“With Turkey’s international trade mostly seaborne, investing in maritime infrastructure is crucial in boosting growth,” said Sue Barrett, director for transport at the EBRD, in a statement. “AsyaPort will promote more efficient logistics and trans-shipment operations in Turkey and the entire region.”
The terminal will be built and operated by AsyaPort Liman, a joint venture between Global Terminal (GTL) – part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) group, the world's second-largest shipping line by container vessel capacity – and the Soyuer family.
The EBRD has invested €3.5 billion in Turkey, both in direct deals and through credit lines, since setting foot in the country in 2009. Turkey is now the EBRD’s second-largest country of operations.