Harbin Electric, Inc., a company focused on developing and manufacturing a wide array of electric motors in the People’s Republic of China, announced that it has inked an agreement with a domestic Maglev technology company to co-develop a linear motor-driven freight train system for coal transportation. First, the two companies plan to build a 850 meter long testing line in a coal mine in inner-Mongolia.

Once the testing line is completed, the project is anticipated to expand to a 32 km long coal transportation line in inner-Mongolia. As terms of the agreement, Harbin Electric will provide linear motor driving systems including the motors’ primary and secondary components for the entire transportation line. For the initial testing line, Harbin Electric will deliver 5 linear motors to be integrated with the train as well as a total of 850 meter long secondary components to be installed on the train track before the end of next month.

“I am very excited about this project,” stated Tianfu Yang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harbin Electric. “Not only because it is the first of its kind in the mining industry and in the electric motor industry in China, but also because it opens a new market potential for us and we believe that the potential is substantial.”

Yang continued, “Energy plays a fundamental role in China’s economic development and coal is a dominant component. It is used in all sectors of China’s economy and in particular in coal-fired electricity generation. With rapid economic growth in China, increasing electricity consumption continuously drives the demand for coal higher. However, due to lack of efficient coal transportation systems in the mining industry, particularly from coal mines to shipping ports, power plants, freight hubs, etc., the cost for coal transportation in China has been steadily increasing, driving up coal prices continuously. The Chinese government has plans to control coal prices, one of which is to build efficient, automated, and modern coal transportation systems at mines in major coal producing provinces.”

“Linear motor technology can be customized for fast, safe, clean, efficient, unmanned, and low cost freight transportation,” Yang added. “I am very pleased that the Company has been chosen to be a key player in building this system in inner-Mongolia. Inner Mongolia is a province with an abundance of natural resources such as coal. There are many provinces in China such as Shanxi and Yunnan that have abundant coal reserves. I believe that those provinces will also need this technology once this technology is validated.”

“This project is another demonstration of our ability to expand and penetrate new markets thanks to our strong R&D, flexible manufacturing platform and expertise in specialty electric motor technology. I am confident that we are well positioned to capture many opportunities like this in the future,” Mr. Yang concluded.