12 banks have made an offer for the financing of the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, which will connect Asia and Europe for the fourth time, for an investment of around TL 10.35 billion ($2.80 billion).
Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister said it is a matter of great importance that the world’s important financial institutions had indicated their willingness to finance the bridge’s construction. A total of 12 banks, including İş Bankası, QNB Finansbank, Garanti Bankası, DenizBank, Yapı ve Kredi Bankası, K-Sure (Korea Trade Insurance Corporation), K-Exim (The Export-Import Bank of Korea), EBRD, ICBC Turkey Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank are competing to finance the project.
Furthermore, South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kang Ho-in said they want to cooperate with Turkey in other countries. “Our partners could do projects like this around the world,” said Jason Jaehyun Ahn, president of SK E&C, another South Korean company involved in the bridge. Moreover, Yoon Tae Seob, senior executive vice president of Daelim Industrial — another South Korean company involved in the construction of the Çanakkale Bridge — said they want to join the Kanal Istanbul mega project. Also, Ebru Özdemir, chairwoman of Limak Investment, which is an arm of the Limak Group Companies, said the goal is to complete the bridge before 2023. Başar Arıoğlu, Chairman of the board of Yapı Merkezi, said the bridge would be an engineering wonder.
The contract for the construction of the bridge, including the Malkara-Çanakkale highway, was signed in a ceremony with the participation of Minister Arslan and Kang. Minister Arslan noted that the contract terms are very ambitious given that the winning consortium committed to 16 years, including a construction period of five and a half years.
After 16 years, the operation rights of the bridge will be transferred to the General Directorate of Highways. Highlighting that it currently takes one hour to pass to the Anatolian side, including the period spent waiting for the ferry, Arsland said this duration will take three to four minutes once the bridge is operational.
The bridge will be the longest suspension bridge in the world and will be constructed with a build-operate-transfer model. The bridge is planned to operate in 2023 and the tolls are predicted to be around 15 euros, excluding value added tax (VAT).