HSBC extends $558mln funding for UAE's Etihad Rail project

Funds granted to contractors that will build a 145-kilometre railway line

Photo used for illustrative purpose only. Etihad rail, stage one image.

Photo used for illustrative purpose only. Etihad rail, stage one image.


Work on a major railway line of the UAE’s Etihad Rail project has begun following the approval of the working capital for the contractors of the project.

HSBC announced on Wednesday that it is extending $558 million (2 billion UAE dirhams) in funding for the construction of a 145-kilometre stretch of the railway line.

The working capital has been granted to the UAE’s National Projects and Construction (NPC) and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), the builders that secured the deal for Package D of Stage Two of the project.

“With the working capital facilities now in place, construction on the railway line has begun,” an HSBC statement reads.

The bank had won a competitive pitch to provide the CRCC-NPC joint venture with a $558 million funding package of “guarantees, trade, supply chain and receivables finance cash management and foreign exchange solutions” for the completion of the railway.

The portion of the project that is being financed involves the construction of a 145-kilometre railway line linking the ports of Fujairah and Khorfakkan to the pan-Emirates network at the Dubai border with Sharjah. This will open up connections to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UE border with Saudi Arabia.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, UAE chief executive officer and head of international for HSBC Middle East said they are “incredibly proud” to be a part of the UAE’s transformative infrastructure project.

“This is an iconic project that will connect key centers of trade and commerce across the UAE, catalyzing the growth of the nation’s economy,” said engineer Hamad Al Ameri, managing director of NPC.

The mega project, which is being built in stages, involves the construction of a 1,200-kilometre railway line that will connect the UAE’s seven emirates and provide an efficient alternative to transport freight and passengers. 

It is considered to be a vital part of the $100 billion Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail program that seeks to connect the UAE with its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)


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