China joins UAE in race to build hyperloop network
The company bringing hyperloop to Abu Dhabi have struck a deal to build a 10km track in China
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (Hyperloop TT), the company bringing hyperloop to Abu Dhabi, has reached an agreement to build China's first ultra-high-speed transportation network.
The US-based company, which has an office in Abu Dhabi, will set up a 10km track in a mountainous stretch of Tongren, a city in China's southwestern Guizhou Province.
Under the terms of the deal, Hyperloop TT will supply technology, engineering, and essential equipment. Chinese stakeholders will be responsible for certification, the regulatory framework, and the physical construction of the system that will propel pods up to speeds of 1,223 km/h.
The company plan to work alongside Tongren officials to plot the route.
Building the 10km hyperloop track through the mountainous Tongren region will also be learning curve for Hyperloop TT that may help the company refine construction methods for the network moving forwards.
While the value of the ultra-fast system was not disclosed, Hyperloop TT said a public private partnership model would be used to finance the project, with Tongren set to meet half of the cost.
China is investing $300bn per year on infrastructure projects, many of which are linked to its Belt and Road initiative. And the chief executive officer of Hyperloop TT, Dirk Ahlborn, said the ultra-fast transport system "will play a bigger role" in the Silk Road revival project by ensuring the structures are in place to help China address its "rapidly growing urban populations".
Mayor of Tongren, Chen Shaorong, called the signing agreement a "major step" to "enlarge and strengthen the local economy".
Bibop Gresta, chairman of Hyperloop TT, added: "China leads the world in the amount of high-speed rail constructed by far, and now they are looking for a more efficient high-speed solution in hyperloop."
"We have spent the past few years finding the right partners to work with in China and now, with a strong base network of relationships in place, we are ready to begin work to create the system along with the proper legal framework for the nation."