USD1-B regional R&D hub for Maglev trains eyed in Cagayan ecozone

By Kris Crismundo

November 7, 2018, 8:13 pm

MANILA -- Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Raul Lambino and two Chinese firms have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a regional research and development (R&D) hub for Maglev technology transportation.

Maglev, or magnetic levitation, is a system of operating trains by way of powerful magnets, which lifts the cars as they are propelled forward.

Lambino inked the MOU last Nov. 2 with Hunan Goke Maglev Technology Development, Ltd. (HGMTD) CEO Liu Shaolong and Eminova Asset Management, Ltd. (EAM) Co-Chair Simeon Chan to establish a conceptual framework of cooperation relative to developmental infrastructures within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port (CSEZFP).

The scope of the projects include the planning, design, construction, operation organization management, consulting and technical services, R&D center for training and production of low speed, medium speed, and high-speed electromagnetic vehicle, comprehensive development of other related industries, import and export of Maglev technology transportation, and other new rail transit projects.

HGMTD and EAM plan to put up its first training center and production facility for Maglev trains in the country, with initial project cost of USD1 billion, Lambino said.

“We have relatively cheap labor, highly-skilled workers, vast tracks of unused lands and attractive fiscal incentives,” he said.

“We need to be aggressive and innovative in promoting our competitive edge in the Freeport,” he added.

Hunan Goke Maglev is now the largest magnetic levitation line builder in the world.

EAM, on the other hand, offers financial advisory, fund acquisition and management services. The Hong Kong-based firm is expected to finance the first phase of the joint venture. (PNA)