A team from the EXIM Bank of India is visiting the Maldives to sign a Line of Credit Agreement for USD 400 million, for funding the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP). The Government of India has also committed a USD 100 million grant for the project. The GMCP is a key pledge of the Government of President Ibu Solih to the Maldivian people and India’s support for the project was announced during the virtual meeting between External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on August 13, 2020. The GMCP is the single-largest connectivity and infrastructure project in the Maldives.
The EXIM Bank of India team comprising Mr Nirmit Ved, General Manager and Mr Harish Kumar, Chief Manager signed the agreement with the Ministry of Finance, Government of Maldives today. The team is also holding discussions with key Ministries and agencies – Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Planning, Infrastructure and Housing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hulhumale Development Corporation (HDC) – of the Government of Maldives involved in the implementation of the Line of Credit projects. The discussions will assess progress on the implementation of 7 other mega infrastructure projects funded by the earlier USD 800 million Line of Credit.
The GMCP is a 6.7 km bridge and causeway network connecting Male, Villingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. The project will be a national economic engine and lifeline connecting Hulhumale, Hulhule and Male with the proposed Gulhifalhu Port and the Thilafushi Industrial Zone. The scheme is composed of three (3) navigation bridges of 140 m main span across the deep channel between each island, 1.41 km of marine viaduct in deep water, 2.32 km marine viaduct in shallow water or on land, and 2.96 km of at-grade roads. The land interchanges on Male’ and Villingili will be signalised junctions, while there will be roundabouts at Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. Bus terminals are planned on each island near the junctions with the mainline. To use renewable energy as a sustainable measure in infrastructure, the project will use solar power for road lighting, navigation lighting, deck cell lighting, CCTV and lighting on sign gantry and architectural lighting. Solar panels will be installed on the top of the lamp posts and along discrete lengths of the bridge parapets.
The Consultant for the project M/s Arup Ltd. was chosen by the Government of Maldives. The Consultant has prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) which has been approved by technical authorities in the Government of Maldives and the Government of India. The tender documents will be prepared through consultations between the Government of Maldives and the EXIM Bank of India. The tender exercise is set to commence for the GMCP in the next few days. The final tender for selecting the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor (s) will be issued by the Government of Maldives. The project is expected to commence by December 2020.
The GMCP will adhere to the hallmarks of Indian development partnership assistance like transparency, partnership – full participation and ownership of the host Government – and competitive pricing. The terms and conditions of the Line of Credit are transparent and in public domain on the EXIM Bank of India website (https://www.eximbankindia.in/lines-of-credit ). They include a 5-year moratorium and a 20-year repayment period. The Indian Line of Credit stipulations mandate that 65%-75% of the project components are sourced from India. This leaves ample space for Maldivian businesses and services to be engaged in project implementation.