(Yicai Global) Jan. 6 -- Brazil's Bahia state has approved the overall design of the first overseas monorail from Chinese new energy vehicle and battery maker BYD, Huanqiu, the online version of the Global Times, reported today. Building work for the USD689 million project will begin in the state capital of Salvador early this year.
BYD Brazil and Bahia Transport signed the deal on Jan. 3, the report said. The 23.3 kilometer Skyrail link -- 19.2 km in the first phase and 4.1 km in the second -- has 26 stations and will connect with Salvador's metro, creating a public transport network that integrates multiple rail systems and different traffic volumes.
Located off the Atlantic coast, Salvador is Brazil's fourth-largest city and was its first capital. Rich in cultural heritage and a magnet for tourists, rapid growth of this city of 38,000 people has led to traffic congestion and air pollution. To help tackle these problems, the state government launched an international public tender for new rail transit facilities. Shenzhen-based BYD won the bidding.
BYD's rail traffic department introduced the Skyrail system, a straddle-type monorail, in 2016. Low cost, flexible, quick to build, and driverless, it can meet the demand of urban short-distance transportation with low traffic volume.
BYD's first Skyrail, totaling 5.7 km, was put into commercial operation in September 2017 in Yinchuan, the capital of China's northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It is largely used for sightseeing. BYD, which has many ongoing Skyrail projects in China, has also won various overseas orders in countries such as Brazil and the Philippines.
Editor: Peter Thomas