The CEO of Limak Group, Nihat Özdemir, announced that loan negotiations regarding the third Istanbul airport project have been completed. Explaining that they will be obtaining 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) in loans from seven different banks, Özdemir said 60 percent of the total loan, 2.7 billion euros, will be granted by Ziraat Bankası, Halkbank and Vakıfbank, which are all Turkish state-owned banks, while the remaining 40 percent will be covered by Garanti Bank, Yapı Kredi, Denizbank and Finansbank. The loans will be without principal payments for four years with a maturity of 16 years. Özdemir said that 500 million euros have been spent so far for the airport constructed by the joint venture of Limak-Kolin-Cengiz-Mapa-Kalyon construction companies. He also said that while İş Bank was also interested in the loan, because they did not decrease the interest rate by 0.25 percent, they are not one of the creditors of the project. "We also wanted them to be involved in the project, but due to higher finance charges, they couldn't get involved," Özdemir said.
The transfer of land took place on May 1, 2015, and Özdemir said that construction will be expedited from now on and that land arrangements are currently being done. The number of employees for the construction is around 5,000 with700 trucks working on excavation, but the number is expected to increase to 1,200. On whether the airport will have negative impacts on the migratory routes of birds, Özdemir said they are examining foreign examples and will be installing a system that will send a signal for birds to change their migratory routes. "Currently, flocks are also covering their food requirements from this area and by these signals we will direct them to alternative areas and ensure that adequate amount of feed is present for the birds," Özdemir said.
He also said that the high foreign exchange prices did not affect them and that their revenues are calculated in euros while spending is in Turkish lira. "Therefore, the increase in euro exchange rates are in our favor, however the high costs in infrastructure work might be hard on us," Özdemir said.
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