Second Habour Engineering Company Ltd. (HSEC), a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), has been awarded the maintenance of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, also know as the Sinamalé Bridge. This contract marks the resumption of maintenance work after a three-year hiatus.

The contract, spanning three years, encompasses a comprehensive training programme for local technicians, according to the Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure. The objective of this initiative is to equip Maldivians with the requisite skills to assume responsibility for the bridge’s maintenance and repair work upon the contract’s expiration. The financial commitment for this three-year maintenance contract is US$3.6 million, the ministry said.

The contract encompasses several key responsibilities, including the identification of current repair needs, the execution of preventive maintenance, the establishment of a record-keeping mechanism for maintenance work, the assessment of future maintenance requirements, the identification of necessary repairs for different bridge components, and the conduct of routine maintenance work.

A significant component of the contract is the training of local technicians. Maldivians will be trained in various fields such as bridge engineering, road engineering, electro-mechanical, traffic safety, facility landscaping, and bridge maintenance areas, according to the ministry. All training components will be integrated into the ongoing maintenance work on the bridge.

Upon the expiration of the contract in three years, the trained Maldivians are expected to assume responsibility for the bridge’s maintenance work, the ministry added. This initiative is part of a broader effort to foster self-sufficiency and build local capacity.

This project is being carried out under the ‘Economic and Technical Cooperation Between the Governments of China and the Maldives’ agreement. The bridge maintenance agreement was signed by Minister of Construction and Infrastructure Dr Abdulla Muththalib and Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin.

The Sinamalé Bridge is the first cross-sea bridge in the Maldives. It connects Malé and Hulhumalé via Hulhulé Island. The bridge, constructed by CCCC HSEC, was inaugurated on 30 August 2018, marking a significant milestone in the country’s infrastructure development. The construction of the bridge commenced in 2015 during the administration of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.