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

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published 13.05.2019 00:06

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 over 10 years, is a version of a port located on land - dry port and it will serve both trucks and trains, Özgür Kalelioğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA).

A $60 million financing agreement was signed by Arkas Holding, the European 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 each from the EBRD and the ICBC Turkey.

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

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

He said that Railport would be a part of China's "One Belt, One Road" project, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), 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," Kalelioğlu said. "Sea transport from China to the Black Sea takes around one month, but the railway is faster."

The project will be built on a nearly 400,000-square-meter area in Turkey's northwestern industrial province of Kocaeli, he said. He said Railport would have a 120,000-vehicle and 100,000-container storage capacity.

Nandita Parshad, the 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 said in a press release that the project would 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 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 over 11 billion euros ($12.36 billion) in 283 projects in various sectors of the Turkish economy, with almost all investments in the private sector. The bank's 7-billion euro Turkey portfolio is the largest among the 38 economies where the bank invests.

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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