Vietnam Business Channel

Is Ho Chi Minh City ready for elevated monorails?

Alpha King, a Hong Kong-based company involved in the acquisition and development of luxury properties in Ho Chi Minh City has expressed interest in setting up the first-ever elevated monorail transit system in the city.

At the beginning of the year, the company set up Alpha King Industrial Development Company (AKIDC) with headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City, as part of its preparation to venture into the monorail business.

Harold Chen, Vice-Chairman of AKIDC indicated his company’s interest in investing in an elevated monorail transit system in HCMC at a recent investment promotion conference.

The BYD Sky Rail being used for the Yinchuan China Flower Expo Park 

At the conference Chen said that his company has partnered with Chinese-backed manufacturer Build Your Dream Co., Ltd. (BYD), who is investing $800 million USD in a five-year research and development project for elevated monorail systems. BYD already has more than 1,000 engineers working on the monorail project and expects to introduce new methods for the design, development and construction of monorail projects. 

Chen noted that monorail systems have a variety of key advantages over traditional railways, including construction and design requirements, the transport capacity of the sky rail trains and their energy consumption along with decreased interference with other vehicles that may use existing roads.

A promotional video for the BYD Skyrail integrated with Huawei communications systems

According to Chen, the construction cost for monorail systems are only one-third of the costs for traditional railways and subway systems. The construction time is also shorter for sky rail, and these two strengths can be an ideal solution for Ho Chi Minh City’s urban development.

On a long-term basis, the ongoing management costs for the BYD sky rail will be significantly lower than the costs associated with railway and subway systems since sky rail is an autonomous driverless system that runs on rubber tires and not expensive rail systems. Additionally, sky rail is an electric system that is environmentally friendly.

Chen said that AKIDC is committed to working to secure funding for the development of the monorail system in HCMC and that he expects that the HCMC municipal government will give his company authorization to proceed with its development plans.

Recently the HCMC government published a list of 210 major projects in the city that it is seeking investment in. There are five elevated railway projects, valued at $6 billion USD with the city’s list of projects.

The first monorail / sky train project is a 9.5 kilometer route valued at $703 million USD, while the city’s second project is a 11.8 kilometer route expected to cost $977 million USD. The other three projects have been valued at $4.3 billion USD and the city hopes to see private sector companies liked AKIDC invest in these projects.



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