Virgin Hyperloop will open a development center in Malaga03 September 2018
Its first facility in Europe will create up to 300 direct jobs with an investment of 500 million dollars
Virgin Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with the Railway Infrastructures Administrator (Adif) for the creation of a center for testing and developing advanced technology in the Spanish state-run company's experimental premises located in the municipality of Bobadilla (Malaga). This is the first development facility the company has opened in Europe. It will cover a total area of 19,000 m² in which it will develop, test and certify components and subsystems designed to improve the safety and reliability of Hyperloop systems.
Virgin Hyperloop plans to invest around 500 million dollars. According to the agreement, in exchange it will receive 126 million euros in loans and subsidies that will go toward launching the new center, advancing the development and testing of new technologies, stimulating economic growth in the region and creating employment.
The agreement signed by Isabel Pardo de Vera Posada, president of Adif, and Rob Lloyd, executive director of Virgin Hyperloop One, specifies that the center will come on line in 2020.
Epicenter of aerospace innovation
Hyperloop is a system that seeks to become the high-speed transport mode of the future, thanks to the use of vacuum tubes to move both passengers and goods. Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company in the world to have built a totally operational hyperloop system.
According to the managers of Virgin Hyperloop, Andalusia is known worldwide as a hub of transport and aerospace innovation. This is why Lloyd describes Spain as the “ideal” location for this center. He says: “By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long tradition as an innovative, global transport leader. We are excited to partner with such a forward-thinking country in developing the next generation of transportation”.
It is no coincidence that the location selected is the second largest aerospace conglomerate in Spain with over 9,000 companies from the transport and logistics sectors currently working in the area, and 20,000 employees engaged in R&D projects. The US company plans to employ between 200 and 300 skilled professionals specializing in technology, and also expects its center to stimulate the creation of indirect jobs by generating a broad ecosystem of partners and providers.
According to the managers of Adif, the new center will make Spain a world reference for the new transport system –which is expected to reach speeds of up to 1200 km/h– and will attract Spanish and multinational companies. The testing center will also serve to manufacture commercial prototypes and their subsequent certification in compliance with European regulations. According to a press note issued by Adif, once the testing and validation phases have been completed, the center will continue operating to support the operations, maintenance and international expansion of the system.
The state-owned company, which thanks to this agreement will repurpose a previously disused experimentation facility, believes that the center will boost economic growth in the region. “The agreement will help us increase our availability to undertake new technological challenges, thus contributing to reinforcing our leadership in the development of transport infrastructures on an international scale”.