Hyperloop project goes to China

Hyperloop tubes are displayed during the first test of the propulsion system at the Hyperloop One Test and Safety site in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (File photo AFP)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Hyperloop project goes to China

BEIJING: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said Thursday it will team up with a southwestern Chinese city to build a new 10-kilometer (six-mile) test track for its high speed hyperloop transportation system.
California-based HyperloopTT is one of several ventures to take Elon Musk’s idea for a new type of transport system propelling capsules through vacuum-sealed tunnels and attempt to make it a reality.
It has struck similar agreements with several other countries, with construction of its first capsules — intended to magnetically levitate in low friction tubes — underway at its innovation center in France.
The remote city of Tongren in China’s impoverished Guizhou province will host the latest demonstration project, according to the plans.
“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,” HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta said in a press release.
“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,” he added.
Financing for the project may be hard to come by as Beijing takes aim at local government spending and a growing mountain of debt.
HyperloopTT said financing would come from a public-private partnership, with Tongren directly contributing 50 percent of the funds.
“HyperloopTT will be responsible for providing technology, engineering expertise, and essential equipment,” the company said, without providing further details.
Local Chinese media, citing the agreement, said Tongren and HyperloopTT would invest in the new local joint-venture building the demonstration track on a one-to-one basis.
State-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), a major aerospace company, is also looking to pioneer the next generation of high-speed train technology in China, and last year announced a similiar hyperloop project in the city of Wuhan.


Oil prices rise on Libyan export interruption, but markets remain weak

Updated 11 December 2018
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Oil prices rise on Libyan export interruption, but markets remain weak

  • The rise came after crude prices dropped by 3 percent the session before amid ongoing weakness in global stock markets and concerns that slowing oil demand-growth could erode supply cuts
  • Crude futures have lost around a third of their value since early October amid the financial market slump and an emerging oil supply overhang

SINGAPORE: Oil prices edged up on Tuesday after Libya’s National Oil Company declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, which was seized at the weekend by a local militia group.
Despite that, overall sentiment on oil prices remained weak amid worries over global stock markets and doubts that planned supply cuts led by producer club OPEC will be enough to rein in oversupply.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.19 per barrel at 0336 GMT, up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.16 per barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent.
Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) late on Monday declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, the country’s biggest, which was seized at the weekend by a militia group.
NOC said the shutdown would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), and an additional loss of 73,000 bpd at the El Feel oilfield.
The rise came after crude prices dropped by 3 percent the session before amid ongoing weakness in global stock markets and concerns that slowing oil demand-growth could erode supply cuts announced last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including Russia.
Crude futures have lost around a third of their value since early October amid the financial market slump and an emerging oil supply overhang.
In a show of no confidence, money managers cut their bullish wagers on crude to the lowest in more than two years in the week ending Dec. 4, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday.
The financial speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 25,619 contracts to 144,775 during the period. That is the lowest level since Sept. 20, 2016.
In physical markets, Kuwait and Iran this week both reduced their January crude oil supply prices to Asia
“There remains a lot of uncertainty if the production cut is thick enough to make a significant dent in global supply,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
“The general risk-off tone in global markets and the stronger dollar ... are contributing to the selling pressure.”
The OPEC-led group of oil producers last Friday announced a supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil supply from January, measured against October 2018 output levels.