The planned hyperloop system in Abu Dhabi may be able to recoup the required investment in a time frame of as little as 10 to 15 years, according to Bibop Gresta, the chairman of HyperloopTT.
On Wednesday, HyperloopTT announced that it signed an agreement with Aldar Properties to allow the company to begin construction of a Hyperloop system in Aldar’s Seih Al Sdeirah landbank in Abu Dhabi, located near the emirate’s border with Dubai and the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Gresta declined to say how much the project will cost.
“Right now we are not disclosing any data until we have the design finished,” Gresta said. “What I can tell you is that we finished a feasibility study analysing a line between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and it was very successful in terms of economics and results. It’s cheaper than a speed rail, and makes money even in a [place] like Abu Dhabi.
The world’s first commercial #Hyperloop system is coming to the UAE. Learn more here: https://t.co/6BlQsnC857 #HyperloopTT #InnovationCenter #XOSquareUAE pic.twitter.com/sAGFeeydcH— HyperloopTT (@hyperlooptt) April 18, 2018
“The real question isn’t how much it costs, but how long it takes to recoup the investment,” he added. “That will take 10 to 15 years, depending on where you build it.”
Gresta noted that the initial 10 kilometre phase of the project will see the hyperloop start in the Alghadeer area and go in the direction of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, with the second phase taking the hyperloop from Yas Island to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
A third phase will see the hyperloop extended both to Dubai and to Saudi Arabia.
In the near-term, Gresta said the next step is to present a formal plan to the UAE’s government.
“After that we are through to construction,” he noted. “We plan to begin construction at the beginning of 2019.”
During the interview, Gresta said that the Hyperloop’s full-scale 40 metre long, 2.75 metre wide passenger and freight prototype – which is currently under construction – is scheduled for delivery in September.
“We can start the first testing at the end of September,” he said.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.