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[Sponsored Report] Quick, cheap mass transit

Nov 03,2009
HanmiParsons Chairman Kim Jong-hoon, right, and Urbanaut CEO John Svensson pose after signing an exclusive collaboration agreement.
On Oct. 26, HanmiParsons signed an exclusive agreement for business development and project cooperation with the U.S.-based Urbanaut using its patented techniques. The collaboration agreement is more meaningful and binding than a traditional memorandum of understanding.

The existing monorail technology seed by Hitachi in Japan and Bombardier in Canada is over 50 years old. These systems are “straddle” types, featuring guide-beams as the basic rail system. The five-meter high vehicles lead to high construction costs for tunnels and in areas with height restrictions.

Urbanaut’s innovative techniques are a large upgrade, guaranteeing environment-friendly conditions. Tire friction is minimized, and vehicles are 2 meters shorter than existing designs, making it possible to reduce weight and realize cost reductions of up to 50 percent.

The new system is widely acclaimed and has been patented in many countries. Introduction of these advanced techniques in a domestic light rail express would mean trains that are appealing in appearance with construction costs up to 30 to 50 percent lower and minimal maintenance costs. This revolutionary system is also highly energy efficient, utilizing a light vehicle on a lightweight structure.

Chairman Kim Jong-Hoon of HanmiParsons said, “This agreement in the monorail business is part of our plan to advance HanmiParsons into the top 10 construction management companies by 2015; this is part of our goal to contribute to the environment with an eco-friendly rail network that is less costly thanks to state-of-the-art designs.”

Urbanaut’s system is at work in the Wolmido, Incheon City monorail to be completed in March 2010. The 6.2-kilometer line will run from Eunha Station to Wolmi Park. If it succeeds in producing the expected results, about 20 light rail expresses or similar businesses are expected to develop. Future travelers will have greater options in transportation thanks to quick, convenient rail systems.

HanmiParsons will cooperate and provide business development and construction services to Urbanaut in domestic and international markets. This will help both firms secure their market leadership.

HanmiParsons also signed an MOU with Turner & Townsend for the formation of a joint venture to provide cost management services.

By Lee Ji-hyun [concordia@joongang.co.kr]


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