The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has bought a stake in the Eurasia Tunnel company in Istanbul from the South Korean partner in the venture, SK Group, a statement by the Turkish Competition Authority (RK) showed on Tuesday.
The competition board decision, made on Sept. 8 and posted on its website on Monday evening, showed that QIA had bought the shares via its unit QH Oil Investment LLC from SK HoldCo Pte.
“It was decided that the investment in the tunnel company – Avrasya Tuneli Işletme Inşaat ve Yatırım A.Ş. (ATAŞ) is not within the (board’s) scope,” the statement on the website said.
It did not specify how big a stake was purchased by the Qatari company.
ATAŞ was established in 2009 to build the Eurasia Tunnel project, a road tunnel built to connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, with Türkiye’s Yapi Merkezi and South Korea’s SK E&C as equal partners in the venture.
The two-story tunnel, which is around 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) long, including a 5.4-kilometer (3.4-mile) section under the Bosporus, allows cars to pass between Europe and Asia in just minutes, significantly reducing travel time across Türkiye’s largest city. The tunnel, built 106 meters under the strait, was officially opened on Dec. 20, 2016.
Nearly 91 million vehicles have traveled through the tunnel since it was opened, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said on Tuesday.
A daily record was set on Sept. 8, when nearly 68,000 vehicles passed through the tunnel, Karaismailoğlu said. An average of 65,100 vehicles traveled per day on average in the last week.