Etihad Rail secures $1.28 billion for stage one of National Railway Project

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By WAM  www.khaleejtimes.com

Etihad Rail – the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network – announced today that it has secured financing of USD 1.28 billion (AED 4.7 billion) for Stage One of its railway project, which comprises the route from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais.

Commenting on the completion of financing for the first stage of the project, Nasser Alsowaidi, Chairman of Etihad Rail said, ‘The securing of this loan not only represents the beginning of a new era for the UAE in trade and travel through a transportation network that will connect all seven emirates with our GCC partners, but also reflects the international financial community’s confidence in Etihad Rail and the significant potential of the UAE’s national railway.’

The five-year loan will be financed on a club deal basis by National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited (HSBC), with NBAD acting as both the facility and security agent of the loan.

Initial financing plans for the first stage of the project were originally approved by the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Cabinet in early 2012, and similarly authorised by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

Commenting on behalf of Etihad Rail, Dr. Nasser Saif Al Mansoori, CEO of Etihad Rail said, ‘This loan is yet another indicator of the significant progress being made at Etihad Rail. With the recent arrival of our wagons, the considerable headway being made in construction on Stage One, and as we look forward to the arrival of our locomotives later this quarter, Etihad Rail is on schedule to seeing the first train run from Habshan to Ruwais by the end of this year. We look forward to working with our banking partners as we develop this landmark project for the UAE, and appreciate the efforts of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the substantial role the company played in helping to secure this loan.’ More info