JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, July 2 (Reuters) - A Spanish-Saudi consortium which will build a high-speed railway linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina said on Monday it had obtained a 3.04 billion riyal ($811 million) loan facility needed to start the project.
The loan was syndicated through Spanish banks BBVA , Banesto, Banco De Sabadell and CaixaBank as well as Spanish operations of Credit Agricole and Deutsche Bank.
Terms of the deal, which involves the support of state-backed Spanish credit insurer CESCE and ICO, a financial agency owned by the Spanish state, were not disclosed.
Last October the Al-Shoula consortium won a 6.74 billion euro ($8.5 billion) contract from the Saudi Railways Organisation to build the project, which will link Mecca and Medina to the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, an entry point for millions of pilgrims, and King Abdullah Economic City, currently under construction.
The consortium includes Spanish public rail companies Renfe and Adif, private builders OHL, ACS and Indra , and Saudi companies Al Shoula and Al Rosan.
The contract covers the construction of 450 kilometres (280 miles) of high-speed track with the capacity to transport over 160,000 passengers a day, according to Spain’s Ministry of Public Works. It also includes the supply of high-speed trains and a maintenance service. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Andrew Torchia)