Saudi Arabia to build world’s first long-range hyperloop test track

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin group, speaks in Dubai on April 29, 2018, during the unveiling of the DP World CargoSpeed a partnership to build a hyperloop system for cargo in the UAE. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 July 2019

Saudi Arabia to build world’s first long-range hyperloop test track

  • The hyperloop technology is expected to reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf
  • It will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: A study will be conducted to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia, American transportation technology company, Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), announced on Tuesday.

A 35-kilometer test and certification track will be built 100 kilometers north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah, in King Abdullah Economic City.

The project, which will include a research center and a hyperloop manufacturing facility, will be in partnership with the Kingdom’s Economic City Authority (ECA). It will facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the Kingdom.

The hyperloop technology is expected to reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf.

Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would be reduced from 10 hours to 76 minutes, a statement from VHO said. While travel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi in the UAE would be shortened to 48 minutes from 8.5 hours.

The announcement stated that the partnership will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialized and scaled.

“As we continue to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030,” Secretary-General of the ECA, Mohanud A. Helal, said during his visit to the VHO headquarters in Los Angeles.

“Having hyperloop at King Abdullah Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize our software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries,” Helal added.

Last year, the CEO of Virgin group, Sir Richard Branson, was in Dubai to unveil the DP World CargoSpeed, which aims to build a hyperloop system for cargo in the UAE. 


Libya’s NOC says production to rise as it seeks to revive oil industry

Updated 22 September 2020

Libya’s NOC says production to rise as it seeks to revive oil industry

  • Libya produced around 1.2 million bpd – over 1 percent of global production – before the blockade
  • Libya’s return to the oil market is sustainable

LONDON: Libya’s National Oil Company said it expected oil production to rise to 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) next week, as the OPEC member looks to revive its oil industry, crippled by a blockade since January.
Oil prices fell around 5 percent on Monday, partly due to the potential return of Libyan barrels to a market that’s already grappling with the prospect of collapsing demand from rising coronavirus cases.
Libya produced around 1.2 million bpd — over 1 percent of global production — before the blockade, which slashed the OPEC member’s output to around 100,000 bpd.
NOC, in a statement late on Monday, said it is preparing to resume exports from “secure ports” with oil tankers expected to begin arriving from Wednesday to load crude in storage over the next 72 hours.
As an initial step, exports are set to resume from the Marsa El Hariga and Brega oil terminals, it said.
The Marlin Shikoku tanker is making its way to Hariga where it is expected to load a cargo for trader Unipec, according to shipping data and traders.
Eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said last week his forces would lift their eight-month blockade of oil exports.
NOC insists it will only resume oil operations at facilities devoid of military presence.
Nearly a decade after rebel fighters backed by NATO air strikes overthrew dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya remains in chaos, with no central government.
The unrest has battered its oil industry, slashing production capacity down from 1.6 million bpd.
Goldman Sachs said Libya’s return should not derail the oil market’s recovery, with an upside risk to production likely to be offset by higher compliance with production cuts from other OPEC members.
“We see both logistical and political risks to a fast and sustainable increase in production,” the bank said. It expects a 400,000 bpd increase in Libyan production by December.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, are closely watching the Libya situation, waiting to see if this time Libya’s return to the oil market is sustainable, sources told Reuters.