A contract worth approximately €4.5 billion has been signed for the financing of the Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir motorway project in Turkey, according to Italian contractor Astaldi, which is one of the companies involved in the road’s construction.

It said the total investment amounted to around €5.7 billion. Astaldi said the project included a suspension bridge which would be the fourth longest in the world.

This new funding will be used to complete the final portion of the 301km route linking Bursa to Izmir, and to refinance the sections under construction for the Gebze-Orhangazi-Bursa link.

The contractor said that the financing process for the entire project was now complete, with the rebalancing of the debt:equity ratio for the project at 78:22 (from the initial 50:50) and with no need for additional equity contribution for Astaldi.

The pool of financing banks consists of Akbank, Deutsche Bank’s London branch, Finansbank, Garanti Bankası, Halkbank, İş Bankası, Vakıfbank, Yapı Kredi and Ziraat Bankası.

The concession contract envisages the construction of more than 400km of motorway, and subsequent management by Astaldi in a joint venture with Turkish companies.

The work under construction is in separate operational lots. Phase 1 is the 53km Gebze-Orhangazi section, including the Izmit Bay Bridge, Phase 2A is the 25km Orhangazi-Bursa route, and Phase 2B is the 301km Bursa-Izmir stretch.

The completed project will provide a link between Gebze – near Istanbul – and Izmir on the Aegean coast. It is expected to halve the travel time by car which is currently more than eight hours.

Astaldi said it had been present in Turkey since the 1980s.

At present, it is working in Turkey on the project to build and subsequently manage the Third Bosphorus Bridge, and is involved in the finalising of the finance contract for the concession agreement for the Etlik healthcare facility in Ankara, which it described as the largest hospital complex currently under construction in Europe.

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