With Chinese banks dominating BRI-related financing in central and eastern Europe, the opportunities for involvement by western European and global players have so far been few and far between. Nevertheless, Deutsche Bank, for whom Daniel Qian is head of structured export finance, China, managed to demonstrate again over the last 12 months that there are openings for lenders with regional and sectoral expertise.
These include the provision of a $225 million Sinosure facility to Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) to finance the modernization and expansion of the Shymkent refinery, in which the German bank has a leading role.
Located in southern Kazakhstan, the refinery was built in 1985. It is owned by PetroKazakhstanOil Products (PKOP), a joint venture between KazMunaiGaz and China National Petroleum Corporation, which is itself a cornerstone of Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in the context of BRI.
The total cost of the upgrade works amounts to $1.9 billion, of which DBK is providing $932 million. The first draw-down on the Sinosure facility was in February.
The project is part of a broader refinery upgrade programme aimed at improving the standard of gasoline and diesel produced in Kazakhstan, which is being promoted by state development institutions including DBK as part of a drive to promote the long-term development of the national economy.
Deutsche was also a leading participant in the $2.5 billion financing for Turkey’s 1915 Çanakkale Bridge and Highway project, which will fund the construction of a suspension bridge over the Dardanelles Strait.
Çanakkale Otoyol, the consortium managing the development, announced in March that it had secured the funding on a 15-year basis with a five-year grace period.
The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge and Highway project will provide another key link in the middle corridor of the Belt and Road, which runs from China through the Caucasus to Turkey and includes the new railway linking Baku in Azerbaijan to Kars in eastern Turkey, via Tbilisi in Georgia.