Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) will not outsource the operation of the commercial harbour, to be established at Thilafushi, but the company is currently in talks with three foreign companies for its development, MPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohamed Wajeeh Ibrahim has confirmed.

MPL is currently in talks with China Harbour Engineering Company, Dubai Port World based out of the UAE, and International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) based out of the Philippines, the CEO said on Sunday.

Ibrahim said the companies were being looked to for the construction of the harbour.

“The harbour will be operated by MPL. There are no discussions to hand over the operation to anyone,” he said.

According to Ibrahim, the aim is to identify and confirm the company that will go on to build the harbour by next month, with the current parties outlining their requirements to MPL.

The administration has decided to relocate the commercial harbour project to Thilafalhu, where approximately 100 hectares of land in total will be reclaimed. Of this, 20 hectares, previously reclaimed by the previous administration, will be allocated for port services, with an additional 80 hectares yet to be reclaimed. Dredging and reclamation will be carried out on a contractor finance basis with the design of the facility currently being finalised.

The administration’s aim is to move port services to Thilafalhu harbour by 2026.