Survey work has commenced for the development of an Integrated Maritime Hub at Gaadhoo Island in Laamu (L) Atoll. China’s CAMC Engineering Company Limited (CAMCE) was awarded the project by Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) on 11 March.

The survey works commenced on Gaadhoo with a team comprised of MPL and CAMCE. Seven CAMCE experts conducted the initial survey with the collaboration of a technical team from MPL.

Since Gaadhoo is a known breeding ground for turtles, the project will be carried out in an environmentally friendly manner to protect the island’s natural resources, MPL had said earlier.

The project will protect the breeding grounds and establish a conservation and rehabilitation centre. The project concept will be completed after seeking technical advice and guidance from the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to MPL.

Under the project, a brand new cruise terminal, a first-of-its-kind eco-resort, and a super yacht marina will be developed. Additionally, the proposed maritime hub will also provide offshore bunkering and transshipment port services.

Gaadhoo had been identified as an ideal location for providing maritime services, but no efforts had previously been made to develop such services in the area. The project is part of the administration’s Week14 milestones.

According to MPL, the maritime hub will provide income opportunities to the people of Laamu Atoll and will expand the tourism industry in the region, creating more jobs and economic opportunities.