U.A.E. Rail Operator Seeks Adviser to Raise Up to $3 Billion

etihad rail

(Bloomberg) — Etihad Rail PJSC is seeking a financial adviser to raise as much as $3 billion to build the second stage of a rail network in the United Arab Emirates, four people with knowledge of the plan said.

The Abu Dhabi-based company may seek $2 billion to $3 billion in loans for the project, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The funds will be used to lay more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) of track from Ghuweifat, at the Saudi border, to Fujairah on the U.A.E.’s east coast.

The U.A.E.’s Ministry of Finance and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Finance are also helping finance the second stage of the project.

The ministry of finance referred questions to Etihad Rail, whose spokeswoman declined to comment. The emirate’s finance department didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The 40 billion-dirham ($11 billion) Etihad Rail network, which will provide both freight and passenger services when complete, will eventually link the six Persian Gulf nations from Saudi Arabia to the U.A.E. and Oman.

The first stage of the project spanning 264 kilometers was completed in 2015. It’s used to transport sulfur from the southwest of Abu Dhabi to the export point at Ruwais.

Etihad Rail last month awarded two construction and track-work contracts worth 4.4 billion dirhams for 310 kilometers.

The company raised a $1.28 billion, five-year loan in 2013 from a group of banks, including HSBC Holdings Plc, for the first stage.

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