DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, is launching its first hyperloop project in India, its chairman told CNBC Sunday.
Last year, DP World, UAE's state-owned port operator, signed a partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One to develop a cargo transporter. Now it's revealed its first project destination will be in the world's largest democracy.
"The first project will be in India, we signed an agreement and we are looking at how to test the project," company Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told CNBC's Arjun Kharpal at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
The company is "eager now today to go on the next step," bin Sulayem said, adding that "we are investing in something we believe is going to add value."
"We believe there is a need for it in India," the chairman continued. "One of the big problems in India is transportation, the congestion." He described hyperloop's technology as potentially providing a transformative solution for the country of 1.3 billion as it runs underground, out of public view.
Virgin Hyperloop One is one of a few companies racing to develop the technology that is hoped will revolutionize transportation of people and goods.
First envisioned by Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2013, hyperloop transport promises to be faster than air travel but at a fraction of the cost. The concept is designed to propel pods through a large tube underground at speeds of 750 mph using magnets.
As for when the project will begin, bin Sulayem declined to offer a timeline but said an announcement would come soon. "We have a team in India that is working very hard, we're working with our office here and in Los Angeles, but we are not wasting our time. The technology we brought into the company has improved 10 times. Whenever I meet with them I see something new."
DP World is among the top four largest port operators on the planet by cargo tonnage.