Two Chinese companies want to produce what they claimed to be the world’s fastest trains in Cagayan with an initial project cost of $1 billion, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) said.
Ceza signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinese firms Eminova Asset Management Ltd. and Hunan Goke Maglev Technology Development Ltd. to produce magnetic levitation (maglev) trains.
According to Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., a maglev train is a floating vehicle for land transportation that is supported by either electromagnetic attraction or repulsion.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ceza said the project involves the establishment of the Maglev Research and Development Center for Production and Training Hub in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
Ceza Administrator and CEO Raul Lambino said the initial project cost would be used for the research and development, as well as the production of the “cutting-edge, low-magnetic radiation, zero-derailment risk” maglev trains.
He said the Maglev project would be patterned after the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s Hanjin Shipyard facility to generate massive local employment.
The maglev production line in CEZA, Lambino also said, would roll out light rail vehicles, and medium and high-speed Maglev trains capable of running from 200 kilometers (km) to 400 km per hour for neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.
He said they would also produce for the Philippines, but he did not expound.
Lambino said Ceza would provide the land area for the project aside from making representations with the national government and Congress for fiscal incentives and other support systems.
“We need to be aggressive and innovative in promoting our competitive edge in the Freeport,” said Lambino, who is concurrent Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon.
“We have relatively cheap labor, highly-skilled workers, vast tracks of unused lands and attractive fiscal incentives,” he added. /kga