Saudi Arabia as a Pioneer in National Feasibility StudiesFebruary 8, 2020
On Thursday, February 6, 2020, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) announced that they have signed a contract agreement with one of the leading hyperloop companies, Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO). Under this partnership, VHO will undertake a pre-feasibility study but unlike the previous ones, this study is going to be expanded to a national level.
Minister of Transport Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser said: “Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman has outlined the role of transport in shaping the future of the Kingdom’s economy within Vision 2030. As we enter a new decade, we intend to make rapid progress in building the infrastructure required to define mobility for the future, enabling the efficient movement of people and goods. With the transformative hyperloop technology, Saudi Arabia will not only unlock unparalleled benefits for its people and the economy but will continue to lead the region into an era of prosperity.”
This groundbreaking project will determine if a hyperloop system of transporting people and cargo is feasible across Saudi Arabia. It also shows that the officials in Saudi Arabia trust and support the new technology and this project is a mark of a long-standing relationship between the Kingdom and VHO team. It was already visible when Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman viewed VHO’s passenger pod while he was in the United States.
The study was preceded by the meeting in the headquarters of VHO in which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense were present. In a joined statement both parties claimed that the goal of this project is to examine viable routes, expected demand, anticipated costs and to explore the socio-economic benefits of developing high-tech skills and creating new jobs.
The company also considers placing their manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia. In this case, the major investors would be DP World and the Abu Dhabi Capital Group.
Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, stated: “In line with Vision 2030, I am confident we will see the world’s first commercial hyperloop within the decade. The Kingdom is on the forefront of this new era in transportation by being the first in the world to explore a national hyperloop route. The economic potential is enormous to connect passengers and cargo at unprecedented speeds with zero direct emissions. The system would be up to ten times more energy efficient than short haul flights and 50% more efficient than high-speed trains. In fact, a hyperloop in the region could be powered entirely by solar panels which cover the tube, making the technology hugely attractive to the sun-abundant Kingdom.”