Danish export credit agency EKF has signed its largest ever export loan for the construction of a high-speed railway project in Turkey.

The agency is lending €576mn to the Turkish finance ministry for the project. The loan is classified as green because the electric railway is categorised as sustainable under the EU’s sustainable financing taxonomy.

The total value of the financing is €1.1bn, which includes contributions from Swedish public finance and export credit bodies EKN and SEK. Standard Chartered and several other commercial lenders are also involved in the deal, but their exact roles have not yet been disclosed.

”Standard Chartered Bank was looking for lenders for the project who have a strong rating and substantial experience with infrastructure projects, and we became their preferred choice”, says Thomas Hovard, EKF’s chief commercial officer.

Reinsurance deals with other export credit agencies, including Kuke in Poland and Spain’s Cesce, reduce EKF’s exposure to €33.6mn.

“This is standard procedure in EKF as we already have a lot of commitments in Turkey,” says Søren Abildgaard, EKF’s senior vice president. “Instead of reserving our entire capacity for one country only, reinsurance allows us to optimize the overall use of our capacity.”

The export loan was signed at the Turkish finance ministry in Ankara on November 30.

It is the first time EKF has worked with Kalyon Holding, the chief contractor building the 201km rail line in the country’s northwest. The line will commence in the city of Bandırma and connect to the Istanbul-Ankara high-speed rail line in Osmaneli, passing through several towns and cities en route.

It was first proposed in the 1970s but the first tenders were not issued until 2016. Infrastructure works are already underway and Kaylon is responsible for the construction of the tracks and corresponding electrification, signalling and telecommunications, according to the contractor’s environmental impact assessment.

EKF says the export loan requires the Turkish government to buy from Danish suppliers at a fixed minimum amount, which will generate “a couple of hundred million Danish kroner”.