The second loan agreement for the Buca Metro, which will be built by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality with its own resources, was signed with the French Development Agency (AFD). President Soyer stated that the Üçyol-Buca Metro, which will be the biggest investment in İzmir's history, is not just a metro and infrastructure investment, and said, “Our investments also mean work, food, and breathing for İzmir's economy in this very difficult period of our country. We are proud to have signed a project financing of 125 million Euros in this difficult economic agenda of Turkey.”
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality signed an external financing agreement of 125 million Euros with the French Development Agency (AFD) after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the Üçyol-Buca Metro, which will be the largest investment in the history of the city. Foreign financing agreement of 4 million Euros with a total maturity of 12 years, 125 years of which is non-refundable, without Treasury guarantee İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer and France's Ambassador to Turkey Herve Magro and AFD Balkans, Middle East and Asia Director Philippe Orliange.
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor attended the signing ceremony. Tunç Soyer, Buca Mayor Erhan Kılıç, France's Ambassador to Turkey Herve Magro, French Development Agency's Balkans, Middle East and Asia Director Philippe Orliange, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Dr. Buğra Gökçe, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary General Eser Atak, İzmir Metro A.Ş General Manager Sönmez Alev, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Purchasing Department Head Övünç Özgen, French Development Agency Turkey Deputy General Manager Emilie-gang Huang, AFD Urban Development Senior Project Manager Ali Dogan Salva joined.
“We are resolutely solving the city's infrastructure needs”
Speaking at the ceremony, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç SoyerHe emphasized that İzmir received very little investment from central sources, but that they were determined to solve the city's infrastructure needs with the means of the Metropolitan Municipality. Reminding that even in such a difficult period, they continue to work with international financial development institutions for the biggest and most important project in İzmir's history, Buca Metro and other projects, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer“Today, I am happy to be one step closer to the realization of the Buca Metro, the most important investment of our city. Despite the unfavorable economic conditions both in our country and in the world, our municipality's provision of this great financing under very favorable conditions is an indicator of the world's trust in İzmir. As is known within the scope of the construction and construction part of the Buca Metro Project, we signed an external financing agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the amount of 125 Million Euros last July. Now, we are proud and happy to sign a financing agreement with the French Development Agency for a total of 125 years, including a 4-year principal repayment period, amounting to 12 million Euros without Treasury guarantee.”
Solution to Buca's transportation problem
Stating that the project will not only radically solve the traffic problem of Buca, the most crowded district of the city, but also contribute to the realization of employment, education and all basic services, Soyer said, “With the promotion of low-carbon transportation in harmony with nature, it will increase the quality of life in İzmir by reducing air pollution. We signed a contract of 112.4 million Euros between AFD and our Municipality, and 49.8 million Euros between our IZSU General Directorate, for a total of 162.2 million Euros. Together with the 125 million Euro loan agreement that we will sign today, we will have made a total cooperation of 287.2 million Euros. It is very valuable that we have brought such a high amount of foreign investment to our country. Because these investments do not only mean building metro and infrastructure. Our investments also mean work, food, and breathing for İzmir's economy in this very difficult period of our country," he said.
At the beginning of 2022, the pickaxe will be shot.
Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Tunç SoyerStating that the construction tender of Buca Metro has been made and the review process continues, he said, “We are planning to announce the result of the tender on 15 December. In the first days of January, we will experience the pride of laying the groundwork together.”
“It will set an example for what the two countries will do”
Stating that she is very happy that France supported this project with the participation of AFD, France's Ambassador to Turkey Herve Magro said, “This project is primarily aimed at providing a reliable, accessible and inclusive transportation experience for city residents of all ages, genders, socio-economic status and physical abilities. It is a socially beneficial project as it will enable people to live. Secondly, it will increase city residents' access to key points of interest such as universities, healthcare facilities and recreational areas in a more seamless and efficient manner, thereby saving significant time. Third, the Buca Metro will contribute significantly to İzmir's carbon footprint targets by reducing carbon emissions harmful to the climate, and to İzmir's air pollution targets by reducing other atmospheric pollutants harmful to public health. In short, this project is an example of what two countries can achieve when our institutions work in harmony. Dear Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor, I hope we will have more opportunities to develop projects of this quality soon. You can count on the constant support of the French Embassy in Ankara and the French Consulate General in Istanbul.”
“İzmir is one of our most important partners”
Reminding that the majority of the world's population prefers to live in cities, Philippe Orliange, Balkans, Middle East and Asia Director of the French Development Agency, said, “Turkey is rapidly urbanizing. For this reason, a large number of investment needs arise from infrastructure to superstructure. İzmir is one of our most important partners. This is our fifth loan agreement that we have implemented in İzmir. The fact that we are signing contracts without Treasury guarantee shows the financial strength of İzmir for AFD.” Referring to the importance of rail system investments for the global climate struggle, Orliange said, “The climate struggle is an important step for both Turkey and the world. It is very valuable that this project comes to life after the Glasgow Summit, where Mr. President made a remarkable speech. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be the mayor of a city with more than 4 million inhabitants. In this sense, I congratulate you for the socio-cultural investments you have made, your strong economic policy management and the strong diplomacy you have established with France.”
External financing of 490 million euros
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Soyer signed an external financing agreement of 125 million Euros with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the Üçyol-Buca Metro line in July. An authorization agreement was signed with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for 125 million Euros and with the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) for 115 million Euros. Thus, an international investment of 490 million Euros was brought to the city.
Strong corporate structure
Soyer also answered the questions of journalists at the ceremony. Noting that when he took office on March 31, 2019, the municipality had a foreign debt of 790 million Euros. Tunç Soyer“Our municipality, subsidiaries and companies had a foreign debt of 31 million Euros when we took office on March 2019, 790. This came to 2021 million euros at the end of October 923. In other words, there is a total of 17 percent borrowing in foreign currency. But in the same period, we made a debt payment of 351 million Euros. This is the time of the pandemic and the earthquake. I said this for; Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has a very safe and secure budget. For 20 years, this is actually a resilience brought by life and the political conjuncture, the ability to stand on one's own feet. The will to continue to develop and move the city forward, regardless of the conditions, and the institutional structure formed in relation to this. So of course we are affected. The Euro, which was 2019 TL at the end of March 6.24, is 18 TL on 2021 November 12.34. There is an increase of 97 percent in between,” he said.
Stating that Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has an additional debt burden of 3,1 billion liras due to this exchange rate increase, Soyer said, “When we look at it in terms of Euro, there is a sustainable and stable debt picture with an increase of 17 percent. In summary, as an institution that has managed to maintain this despite all this picture and the difficulties Turkey is going through, I am proud of both my colleagues and the strong structure of the institution. If it were otherwise, we wouldn't be signing this today. If we can sign this today, it is a work created by mutual trust. Therefore, we do not have any anxiety or fear. We are walking in a way that we can build the future better.”
It will provide driverless service.
The line, which forms the 5th stage of the İzmir Light Rail System, will serve between Üçyol Station - Dokuz Eylül University Tınaztepe Campus-Çamlıkule. The length of the line, which will be constructed with the deep tunnel technique (TBM/NATM) using the TBM machine, is 13.5 kilometers and 11 station areas have been determined. Starting with Üçyol, the line will include Zafertepe, Bozyaka, General Asım Gündüz, Şirinyer, Buca Municipality, Kasaplar, Hasanağa Garden, Dokuz Eylül University, Buca Koop and Çamlıkule stations respectively. The Buca line will be integrated with the 2nd stage line running between Fahrettin Altay-Bornova at Üçyol Station and with the İZBAN line at Şirinyer Station. Train sets on this line will serve without drivers. It is anticipated that the works will be completed within four years after the start of production.