The Maldives has successfully established its first micro-grid seawater desalination plants in a stride towards renewable energy and sustainable development. The completion of the project, undertaken with grant aid from the Chinese government, was commemorated with a ceremony on Kaashidhoo Island, Kaafu Atoll.

With Chinese grant aid, desalination plants have been installed on five islands: Kaashidhoo Island, Olhuvelifushi Island in Lhaviyani Atoll, Alifushi Island in Raa Atoll, Kelaa Island in Haa Alifu Atoll, and Dhaandhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. Wang Lixin, the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, and Dr Abdulla Muththalib, the Minister of Construction and Infrastructure, attended the ceremony on Kaashidhoo Island.

Ambassador Wang expressed her optimism about the transformative impact of the project on the residential communities on the five islands. She also voiced her hope that these projects would significantly contribute to the energy development goals set by President Mohamed Muizzu.

“Very happy to see the only operational windmill in [Maldives], which will become a fine example of green [and] sustainable development. Looking forward to more fruitful cooperation in new energy area,” stated Ambassador Wang.

Minister Muththalib emphasised diversifying the country’s renewable energy sources beyond solar energy. He underscored the critical role of renewable energy sources in ensuring the Maldives’ energy security and the continuous production of electricity.

“We have always held the conviction that solar energy is the most cost-effective and accessible means of energy generation. However, to guarantee a future of energy security, we must broaden our scope to encompass other renewable energy sources. With the project’s successful implementation and positive results in Kaashidhoo, we are now poised to extend wind energy generation projects to other islands,” Muththalib stated.

The micro-grid seawater desalination plants on the five islands are projected to produce 200 tonnes of desalinated water, powered by 200 kilowatts of solar energy. The plant on Kaashidhoo Island is also equipped with a wind turbine capable of generating an additional 100 kilowatts of wind energy, marking a significant step towards harnessing diverse renewable energy sources.