TIANJIN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was briefed on China’s High Speed Rail (HSR) by China Railway Thursday while travelling in one.
Najib, who is on a six-day official visit to China since Monday was travelling from Beijing to Tianjin, a major port city in northeastern China, located about 138.6km away, for a short visit.
Travelling by road takes nearly two hours between the two destinations but with HSR, which travels at 350km/hr, it takes less than 30 minutes.
HSR service in China was introduced in 2007, and has became a popular transportation mode with an annual ridership of over 1.1 billion last year. Its network has covered 28 of the country’s 33 provinces and regions and over 20,000km of route for the passenger-dedicated lines (PDLs).
China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) is among several rail companies, including Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) and East Japan Railway Company eyeing for the RM50 billion, 350km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR which is expected to cut travel time to 90 minutes.
The project from Kuala Lumpur’s Bandar Malaysia and Singapore’s Jurong East is expected to be fully operational by 2026.
Najib, upon arrival at the Tianjin Railway Station was received by Tianjin Municipality Government Vice-Mayor Zhao Haishan.
He then met up with Secretary of Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Li Hongzhong at the Tianjin State Guest House.
Najib and Li, together with Zhao later witnessed the signing of the Operation Agreement for the Integrated Seawater Desalination and salt-making project between Malaysian-owned XianDa Group and the Administrative Commission of Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area for the integrated zero-liquid discharge desalination plant project here.
Xianda was represented by XianDa (Tianjin) Seawater Resources Development Co Ltd Group Chairman Mah Sau Cheong, while the Administrative Commission of Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area was representd by its Managing Committee director, Wang Sheng.
It was reported in 2014 during a ground-breaking ceremony in Tianjin, XianDa Group planned to invest RMB15 billion (RM8 billion) to open an integrated zero-liquid discharge desalination plant here.
The plant will produce one million tonnes of clarified water and 600,000 tonnes of desalinated water per day.- BERNAMA