10km commercial Hyperloop line coming to Abu Dhabi by 2020
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) has signed a new agreement with Abu Dhabi-based real estate company Aldar Properties that will see a 10km commercial Hyperloop system built in the capital city, close to the site of Dubai Expo 2020.
“With regulatory support, we hope the first section will be operational in time for Expo 2020,” said Bibop Gresta, Chairman of HyperloopTT.
The agreement signed with Aldar will allow HyperloopTT to begin construction on the Hyperloop system, alongside a new innovation centre and visitor centre, on the border of the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Alghadeer - near to both the Expo 2020 site and the Al Maktoum International Airport.
“We are delighted to be working with HyperloopTT as they look to bring one of the world's most revolutionary transportation technologies to Abu Dhabi,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, Chief Executive Officer, Aldar Properties. “Alghadeer sits at such a strategic point within the UAE – close to major growth areas of both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, that it makes sense to pair it with rapid transport opportunities.”
The aim of the project is to eventually connect Abu Dhabi using Hyperloop transit systems to Al Ain, Dubai and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
“We believe that Hyperloop technology can have a major positive impact on the lives of all of those living within our communities, and we look forward to this possibility becoming a reality,” Tala Al Dhiyebi continued.
The announcement comes shortly after HyperloopTT announced that it is currently constructing the world’s first full-scale prototype Hyperloop system at its facility in Toulouse, France, with the first passenger capsule to be delivered this summer.
“Hyperloop is no longer a concept, it has become a commercial industry,” said Gresta.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.