Phase two of Kaafu atoll Gulhifalhu will cost about MVR 2 billion, according to Boskalis, the Dutch dredging and heavy-lift company who won the contract of further developing Gulhifalhu. However, no date has been given for the start of the practical work.
Boskalis said in a press release on Tuesday that the project, which was awarded to it by the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, is estimated to cost EUR 120 million (MVR 2 billion).
The second phase of the project is dedicated to the construction of a regional port. All the services of the commercial port currently operating in the north of Malé City is set to be transferred to Gulhifalhu.
Boskalis was awarded the contract on 17 October, 2019, without a bid, to reclaim a large area of Gulhifalhu. However, the practical work of the project is yet to begin.
The state has taken out a loan of USD 101 million (MVR 1.6 billion) from three banks; the European Export Trade Bank, Netherlands ABN AMRO Bank and ING Bank of Netherlands.
Boskalis had also reclaimed the first phase of Gulhifalhu in 2010.
Boskalis, a world-class dredging and offshore construction company, has previously worked on various development projects in Maldives.
The company had also implemented a beach protection project in Gulhifalhu in 2019, and dredged the area needed to connect the the Thilamalé bridge to Gulhifalhu.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), necessary before work can begin on the second phase of Gulhifalhu has also been completed, Boskalis said in the statement. The Dutch company said that various measures are planned to reduce the environmental damage caused by the project.
18 million cubic meters of sand will be used to reclaim land in Gulhifalhu during the second phase and a large stone revetment will be installed around the dredged area. However, it is not clear how much land will be reclaimed under the project.
The government has also awarded contracts to dredge Thilafushi and Giraavarufalhu to implement various projects.