Male'-Thilafushi bridge project would be contracted within a two week period, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said on Tuesday.
Connecting Vilimale', Male', Gulhifalhu, and Thilafushi is one of the biggest projects announced by this administration. In the press conference held in the President's Office, he said the bid evaluation process is almost completed. According to the President, the project will be officially contracted by the end of month.
This project was delayed due to the pandemic, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said.
Only Indian companies were allowed to participate in the bidding process of this project, a condition proposed by the Indian government, who are funding this project. Bidding was allowed only to those companies that were prequalified for it, as per India's Exim Bank.
India was hit with a second wave of COVID-19 that lead to surges in cases, deaths, and the healthcare system of the nation to collapse. President said the COVID surge lead to meetings between Maldivian government and Exim bank to be halted for a period.
This project is financially backed by a USD 400 million line-of-credit loan from Exim Bank in addition to free aid of USD 100 million. Government estimates this project will take two years to complete.
A Netherland's company called Fugro is currently completing pre-project surveys. This work, contracted at USD 15 million, is to be completed by July 2021.