Indian media has reported that the Maldivian government is expected to call for tenders from Indian companies for engineering, procurement, and construction of Gulhifalhu Port by end of the current financial year 2023-24 (Apr-Mar).

Economic Times (ET) Infra reported that senior sources from the Exim Bank of India has confirmed to the news outlet that the bank, on behalf of the Indian government,  has approved financing of the project out of a Line of Credit extended to the Maldivian government. 

It reported that as per the agreement, goods, work and services for a minimum of 75% value of the contracts covered under the Line of Credit must be sourced from India. 

A senior official from the EXIM Bank was quoted by ET Infra as saying, “The Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (ECP) tender is expected to be issued during this ongoing financial year.”

Gulhifalhu is one of the three locations that is currently being developed as part of the greater Male’ area. Land reclamation is being carried out for the development of the port, as well as for residential purposes under the recently announced “Binveriya” housing scheme. 

The reclaimed island adjoins Thilafushi – the main industrial zone developed under the greater Male’ vision. The port will replace the existing port in Male’ that is increasingly seeing constraints to meet supply demands due to lack of space. 

Upon completion, the port is set to have an initial capacity to host 400,000 20-foot containers and will see the development of administrative areas as well as a container terminal, cargo terminal, port service quay, bonded warehouses and a domestic quay. 

The project is estimated to be completed by 2026 and is valued at US$400 million, funded through a Line of Credit Facility provided by the Exim Bank of India.