China to Provide Maintenance Support for Maldives’ Sinamalé Bridge

The Maldives has secured an agreement with China for free maintenance support on the Sinamalé Bridge (also known as the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge). Minister of Infrastructure Dr Abdulla Muththalib confirmed that China will assist with maintenance work and enhance technical capacity within the Maldives.

“This agreement, signed between the Maldivian and Chinese governments on April 2nd, 2023, aims to develop the necessary infrastructure and provide technical support for the bridge’s upkeep,” Dr Muththalib stated.

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The agreement includes provisions for training Maldivian technicians to carry out the long-term maintenance of the bridge independently. Areas of focus will encompass road engineering, safety systems, landscaping, and overall bridge maintenance.

The bridge, completed in 2018, initially benefited from a two-year maintenance contract with its construction company. However, this contract was not renewed, resulting in a three-year period without significant upkeep.

The new agreement will address this gap, including:

  • Repair and finishing work
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Regular bridge assessments
  • Establishment of a record-keeping system
  • Identification and execution of maintenance across various bridge components (including 6-monthly and annual work)

The Sinamalé Bridge, a landmark infrastructure project for the Maldives, was built at a cost of approximately USD 200 million. China provided USD 116 million in aid, while a further USD 72 million was secured through a Chinese loan. The Maldivian government contributed USD 12 million toward the project.

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