More than 30 international firms have shown their interest to draw up the master plan and design works for the Ministry of Economic Development’s plan to shift of Malé commercial harbour to neighbouring Thilafushi.
Earlier, the Ministry of Finance had announced seeking interested global consultancy firms to present their expression of interest letters based on the ministry’s mandated terms.
It has now been reported that a total of 34 global firms have presented forth with their proposed master plan and design works for the new commercial harbour to be developed at Thilafushi.
The Ministry of Finance first made the announcement on 11 February but was extended twice to provide enough window for interested firms to apply.
An official from the Ministry of Finance had commented the highest-scoring firms will be provided with the opportunity to place their bids for the project. However, the Ministry has not disclosed any dates for the bidding.
In their announcement, the Ministry of Finance had specified that they were exclusively seeking globally recognized or internationally established consultancy firms. However, it has been reported that a few local entities in joint ventures with foreign parties have also submitted their proposals.
While the current administration is stepping forward in shifting the commercial harbour and its operations entirely to Thilafushi, the previous administration under Former President Mr Abdulla Yameen had also acquired contract of a Netherland based firm. The news was confirmed by the then Economic Minister Mr Mohamed Saeed.
It was also reported that the Asian Development Bank (ADB), one of the prime foreign sources of funding to the Maldivian government, had also done a feasibility study regarding the project.
Later on, news of Mr Yameen’s administration contracting Dubai based DP World for a project value of USD300 million to build the commercial harbour also made headlines.
However, the contractor had since stepped down from the project.