The EBRD is providing a $92 million loan for Turkey’s first trans-shipment container terminal AsyaPort, as the country continues to improve its infrastructure to create the conditions for sustaining its strong economic growth.
The Bank’s financing will be used to design, build, operate and maintain a new container terminal in the town of Barbaros, Tekirdag province, some 130 km west of Istanbul. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Turkiye Is Bankasi will contribute parallel loans, of $69 million and $106.6 million, respectively.
Equipped to handle 1.9 million TEUs – twenty-foot equivalent unit, the standard industry measure for containers – AsyaPort is set to become a major trans-shipment hub for cargo bound for Black Sea ports. It will also provide additional, much-needed capacity for domestic shipping traffic.
The future site of AsyaPort
At present, large vessels cannot pass the Bosporus as the Strait can only accommodate ships with container carrying capacities of up to 6,500 TEUs. AsyaPort is located on the Sea of Marmara side of the Bosporus, and will be able to handle mega-vessels with capacities up to 18,000 TEUs. The port will receive cargo which will then be transported by smaller vessels to the major Black Sea ports. This will not only reduce transportation costs and increase efficiency, but it will also improve the safety of operations on the congested Bosporus.
Sue Barrett, Director for Transport at the EBRD, said: “With Turkey’s international trade mostly seaborne, investing in maritime infrastructure is crucial in boosting growth. We are pleased to finance what will become the country’s first trans-shipment hub and one of its largest container terminals. AsyaPort will promote more efficient logistics and trans-shipment operations in Turkey and the entire region.”
AsyaPort will set very high standards in environmental and energy management. The terminal will use the latest energy efficiency technologies, such as electric rubber tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, which reduce fuel consumption at the terminal by an estimated 95 per cent. It will also be the first terminal to receive the energy management certificate ISO 50001, and is expected to receive ISO 14000 certification on environmental management.
AsyaPort will be built and operated by the special purpose company. AsyaPort Liman A.S., which is a joint venture between Global Terminal Ltd (GTL) – which is part of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) group, the world’s second-largest shipping line in terms of container vessel capacity – and the Soyuer family.
The EBRD regards strengthening regional transport infrastructure as one of the key priorities in Turkey. To date, the Bank has invested more than EUR500 million in the country’s infrastructure sector, including Mersin International Port, Eurasia Tunnel and the new domestic terminal at Izmir Airport.
Since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested more than EUR3.5 billion in the country, both in direct deals and through credit lines. Last year Turkey became the EBRD’s second-largest country of operations, with EUR1 billion in new investments in 2012 alone.
Press Release, December 17, 2013