Winston & Strawn advises on Turkey’s North Marmara Motorway Project
The firm has advised on major project financings for the two sections of the project, a mega infrastructure development that aims to enhance transport connectivity between the European and Asian sides of Turkey.
The structure for implementation of the Project is based on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession model. The two concessions for Project have been granted by the General Directorate of Highways (KGM) (a unit of the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Communication).
The Dubai based Winston team, led by partner, Shibeer Ahmed and supported by associates, Rajwah Al Kuhaymi and Shaheer Momeni, served as international counsel to Avrupa Otoyolu Yatirim ve Iletme A.S. (for the 80 Km European section of the Project) and KMO Anadolu Otoyol Isletmesi A.S. (for the 190 Km Asian section of the Project). The 270km motorway will connect to either side of the new Third Bosphorus (or Yavuz Sultan Selim) Bridge.
The Third Bosphorus Bridge which is 2.164 km long, features eight car lanes and two railway lines. Upon completion, the North Marmara Motorway Project and the Third Bosphorus Bridge will provide an alternative crossing and connection between the Asian and European regions of Turkey, bypassing the two existing bridges in the centre of Istanbul which are heavily congestion during rush-hour traffic.
The Project sponsors consist of a consortium of leading Turkish construction groups including Cengiz İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., Limak İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., Kolin İnşaat Turizm Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., Kalyon İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., RSY İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., and Pak Yatırım İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş.
The total debt financing for the Project of US$2.764 (made up of USD1.040 billion for the European section and USS1,634 billion for the Asian section) was arranged by the offshore branches of Türkiye Garanti Bankası A.Ş., Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş., QNB Finansbank A.Ş., T.C. Ziraat Bankası A.Ş., Türkiye Halk Bankası A.Ş., and Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T.A.O acted as the mandated lead arrangers of the debt facilities. The lenders will benefit from Turkey’s new debt assumption regulation, under which either all or part of the project debt will be assumed by the Turkish Treasury on termination of a concession, depending on the reason for the termination.
“The North Marmara Motorway Project involves an innovative risk sharing arrangement between the public and private sectors which will be used as the model for other major transport infrastructure projects in Turkey in the future,” said Shibeer. “The Project will provide an important link between the Asian and European regions of Turkey significantly reducing travel time and helping to implement the Turkish governments’ plans for increased economic activity in the region.”