The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) has commenced preparations for mobilising harbour development projects in Noomaraa, Shaviyani Atoll, and Eydhafushi, Baa Atoll. The Ministry of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure contracted the projects to the state-owned company on Thursday, 22 June. A budget of MVR 53.33 million (US$3.7 million) is allocated for the harbour project in Noomara, while MVR 64.67 million (US$4.5 million) will be spent on Eydhafushi harbour.

Noomaraa, with an estimated population of 519 people, heavily relies on employment in the public sector and the tourism industry. MTCC believes that the harbour development project will address longstanding issues with the harbour outer entrance channel and the need for dredging an emergency entrance/exit channel. Moreover, the project aims to enhance safety and reduce maritime accidents by building a modern and spacious port. In 2019, a barge ran aground the island’s reef, causing extensive damage to an area spanning 1632 square metres.

On the other hand, Eydhafushi, with an estimated population of 3,469, predominantly relies on fishing and tourism for its residents’ livelihoods. MTCC notes that the island currently operates six fishing boats, and there is a prospect of an increase in vessels as sports fishing has gained popularity among its youth. Located in Baa Atoll, which is renowned for luxury resorts, Eydhafushi attracts a significant number of tourists, and the project is expected to further stimulate the fisheries and tourism sectors. Once completed, it will provide a modern harbour with sufficient space for docking boats, facilitating the boarding and unloading of goods for both residents and tourists.

Noomara Harbour Development Project:

The project involves several components, including the maintenance dredging of 5076 cubic metres from the existing harbour, dredging 34,386 cubic metres for a new harbour basin, and the dredging of a harbour entrance channel of 2920 cubic metres. The project will also see the construction of a 302.60-metre breakwater and a 177-meter quay wall, with the installation of revetment along a 64-metre area. Additionally, the company will build an 11-metre-long and 11-metre-wide ramp, two jetties, install port lights, pave an area of 1652 acres, and install kerbs covering 311 metres. The US$3.7 million project, which has to be completed within 455 days, will commence upon completion of an environmental impact assessment, according to MTCC.

Eydhafushi Harbour Development Project:

As part of this project, MTCC will carry out maintenance dredging of 28,304 cubic metres from the existing harbour and dredge a harbour entrance channel of 3354 cubic metres. The project includes the construction of a 170-metre breakwater, 402-metre quay wall, 383-metre revetment, 11-meter-long and 11-meter-wide ramp, 18-meter-long and 2-meter-wide bridge, 1814-acres of pavement, and 402 metres of kerb, with installation of mooring buoys and port lights. MTCC, which is given 450 days to complete the US$4.5 million project, awaits the completion of an environment impact assessment before mobilisation.