British Steel wins multi-million-pound contract to make railway for Turkey in Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe steelworks
Scunthorpe steelworks (file photo) -Credit:Scunthorpe Live/Donna Clifford

British Steel has secured a multi-million-pound contract to supply rail for a new high-speed electric railway in Turkey.

The company will provide tens of thousands of tonnes of track for the project from the Scunthorpe steel works, which will connect Mersin with the cities of Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep in southern Turkey.

This project is expected to help establish a lower-emission transport link between Turkey's second-largest container port and inland cities more than 150 miles away, potentially reducing CO2 emissions by more than 150,000 tonnes annually.


British Steel President and CEO Xijun Cao said: "We're delighted British Steel has been awarded this contract, and to be involved in such an important project. Not only will electrification greatly enhance the transport infrastructure in southern Turkey, it will also deliver significant environmental benefits. We pride ourselves on providing solutions to the challenges our customers face and look forward to supplying this project with the world-leading rail synonymous with the British Steel name."

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government's export credit agency, has underwritten €781-million (£680-million) of financing to support the construction of the 286km railway.

Rönesans Holding, with funding from UKEF's Buyer Credit Facility, will complete the construction of the Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep High Speed Railway on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, with British Steel as one of the main suppliers.

Erman Ilcak, President of Rönesans Holding, said: "By upgrading the existing railway line to a high standard railway line, we will be actively reducing negative environmental impact while offering a lower carbon travel alternative and significantly enhancing the region's industrial connectivity and trade. Rönesans Holding takes immense pride in contributing to Turkey's national environmental goals and infrastructure advancement."

He added: "Our fruitful collaboration with British exporters has secured €781-million in financing for the transformative high-speed electrified railway in southern Turkey, adding tremendous value to the cooperation between Turkey and UK exports and services while paving the way for exciting global partnerships."

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British Steel Commercial Director - Rail, Craig Harvey, stated: "This is the start of what we expect to be a new unique partnership between British Steel, UKEF and international contractors. The ability to combine world-leading quality rail with a world-leading finance solution for supply into global markets and networks is an unparalleled supply chain solution. Looking forward, we are very excited about what this will achieve."

The initial shipments of rail, manufactured in Scunthorpe and graded as 60E1 in R260, each measuring 36 metres in length, will be transported from British Steel to Turkey in the second quarter of 2024.