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Tue 16 Aug 2016 01:47 PM

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DP World mulls 'Hyperloop' technology at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port

Pioneering technology could help move freight across port, company says after signing agreement

DP World mulls 'Hyperloop' technology at Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port

UAE ports operator DP World is to study the possibility of using ‘Hyperloop’ transportation technology at Jebel Ali port in Dubai, it announced on Monday.

DP World has signed an agreement with Hyperloop One, a US company working to develop pioneering technology invented by engineer Elon Musk in 2013, the companies said in a joint statement.

Hyperloop is a tube-based transport system that can move compartments or ‘pods’ of people to and from their destination at speeds of up to 1,220 kilometres per hour.

Hyperloop One has spent months working to bring the technology to the Middle East following tests in the US, claiming that it could cut journey times between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to between eight and 15 minutes.

The company described the agreement with DP World as the first step towards building a Hyperloop system in Dubai – “which could reshape one of the world’s most modern cities and bring even more infrastructure innovation to the UAE,” said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One.

Under the agreement, the two parties will conduct a feasibility study on how Hyperloop could be used to increase the “efficiency, profitability and sustainability” of Jebel Ali port.

The study will assess the business case for using Hyperloop One technology to move freight from container ships docked at Jebel Ali to a planned new DP World inland container depot. 

By redirecting cargo to a new inland hub, DP World would free up space at Jebel Ali for profitable use.

It could even build a submerged floating Hyperloop next to its new Terminal 4, which is to be constructed on a man-made island off Jebel Ali port, the company said.

The feasibility study will provide details on the design of a right of way, capital and operating costs and potential project finance solutions.

“By eliminating the barriers of time and distance, we believe we can increase the volume of freight DP World moves through the port using a Hyperloop to a new inland depot, which supports more revenue and profit for all stakeholders, as well as reducing freeway congestion and carbon emissions” said Rob Lloyd, CEO Hyperloop One.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, added: “Hyperloop One is developing a new mode of transportation that will allow the world to transport people and goods inexpensively, safely, and with energy efficiency at speeds never thought possible.

“It is an innovative solution that holds tremendous potential for enhancing our operational efficiencies and ensuring smoother and faster trade flows.”

As well as the agreement in Dubai, Hyperloop One also has feasibility studies underway in Russia, Finland and Sweden, Switzerland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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