Prime Minister Tansu Ciller has secured pledges for loans backing export and project financings following her three-day visit to Japan ending 1 March, banking sources say.The Export-Import Bank of Japan (Jeximbank) is expected to provide a $300 million loan to Turk Eximbank for on-lending to Turkish exporters. The 10-year loan is likely to carry a low interest rate.

The funds will help Turk Eximbank meet its $12,000 million lending commitment this year, according to Ersoy Volkan, its general manager. The bank has recently agreed $1,000 million of funding with domestic banks.A further $300 million loan from Jeximbank may be forthcoming later in the year, says Volkan.

Japan has also pledged a loan for 90 per cent of a $106 million facility for completion of a motorway by a venture of the US’ Bechtel and the local Enka (MEED 3:3:95).

Tokyo is also bidding to carry out a project to build the 1,400-MW combined cycle power station planned at Mudanya tied to the use of Japanese contractors. The region has a generating deficit of around 800 MW. Bids for the plant were invited this year without any prequalification exercise by the Turkish Electricity Generating Transmission Corporation (TEAS) with a tender deadline of 11 April.

Negotiations for the plant with a venture of Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Enka were cancelled in 1994 when TEAS decided to seek a cheaper price through competitive bidding. This was despite a 65 per cent offer of funding from Jeximbank.

Turkish press reports say Ciller’s team also received positive indications of possible funding from other Japanese bodies such as the Overseas Economic Co-operation Fund for projects such as the second stage of the Greater Melen river scheme.