The Republic of the Maldives has received an approval for a USD 9.6 million grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to expand Kulhudhuffushi Harbor.
The project would include the construction of a dedicated passenger and cargo harbor that can cater to larger cargo vessels and accommodate a long-distance passenger service from the central and southern regions.
“The lack of transport connectivity is a major constraint to development in the Maldives, which has more than 1,000 coral islands scattered over 90,000 square kilometers in the Indian Ocean, making it one of the most dispersed countries in the world,” said Andri Heriawan, ADB Transport Specialist.
Kulhudhuffushi Harbor is currently used for passenger traffic, cargo transport, commercial fishing, and transport of agricultural commodities. The project would increase the capacity of the harbor to cater to 250 vessels per day, up from the current 150 vessels.
In addition to the grant, ADB said it would provide USD 500,000 in technical assistance to enhance the institutional capacity of the Secretariat of Kulhudhuffushi Council and Public Works Services to improve harbor operation, maintenance, safety, and financial management.
The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure will be responsible for implementing the project, which is expected to be completed by December 2019, ADB added.