JV gets USD 950M for Istanbul tunnel

12 December 2012

A joint venture group led by South Korean contractors got a USD 960M loan to help finance a subsea road tunnel in Istanbul. The 18-year deal for the Istanbul Strait Road Crossing Project, also known as The Eurasia Tunnel Project, was signed earlier today.

South Korea¹s SK Holdings Co (SKEC), Kukdong Engineering & Construction Co, Samwhan Corp, Hanshin Construction Co together with Turkey¹s Yapi Merkezi won the government contract in 2008 to build the roads and the tunnel.

The group set up a joint venture called Avrasya Tuneli Isletme Insaat & Yatirim AS (Atas), which is the borrower in the transaction, in 2010 to implement the project and operate the tunnel for 26 years. The construction is expected to be completed by 2017.

The USD 1.3bn project, incorporating a 14.6km road with a 5.4km twin-deck tunnel beneath the seabed that will cross the Bosphorus, is expected to ease car traffic on two suspension bridges joining the city¹s European and Asian sides serving more than 12 million people in Turkey¹s biggest city. About 120,000 vehicles will travel through the road daily.