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Cablegate: Imi Maldives Infrastructure Opportunities

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 COLOMBO 001409

SIPDIS

COMMERCE FOR ARI BENAISSA
DEPT FOR SA/INS AND EB/CBA DWINSTEAD
USDOC FOR 4440 MAC/AP/ASIA BUSINESS CENTER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTDB BTIO ECON ETRD BEXP MV ECONOMICS
SUBJECT: IMI MALDIVES INFRASTRUCTURE OPPORTUNITIES

REF: Colombo 1308

1. Summary: The Government of Maldives has ambitious
infrastructure development plans that present new business
opportunities for US companies. Projects include commercial
ports and fisheries harbors, airports, new residential and
resort islands, land bridges, information and communication
technology networks and electricity generation. In
addition, the telecommunications and tourism sectors are to
be expanded. Proposals that include financing options are
particularly attractive. Bidding has closed for some of
the projects, but significant subcontracting and supply
opportunities may be available. End Summary.

2. The following projects represent the most significant
infrastructure upgrades taking place in the Republic of
Maldives:

Northern Transshipment Port
---------------------------

The Government of the Republic of Maldives (GORM) is
seeking financing for a deep-water port on the island of
Huvarafushi, in the north, to serve as a transshipment
point for cargo destined for ports on the east coast of
India. India does not have a deep-water port due to its
continental shelf, which runs far out into the sea on the
east coast. GORM has completed an economic feasibility
study on the proposed port, and an engineering study is
planned. GORM hopes to start construction by 2005. A
British-based consortium is currently developing the
project, which will be built on BOT (Build, Operate &
Transfer) terms for 35 to 40 years. The port will be
privately owned, although the GORM will maintain 15 percent
interest. Over 60 percent of the $500,000 million required
finance has been raised, and GORM is looking for a private
consortium to fund the remainder.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Trade and Industries
Ghazee Building,
Ameer Ahmed Magu,
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives,
Tel: 960-323668/315593
Fax: 960-323840
Email: contact@trademin.gov.mv
Website: http://www.trademin.gov.mv

Maldives Ports Development Project - Regional Ports
--------------------------------------------- ------

Two commercial ports are currently under construction: in
the north (Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Kulhudhuffushi Island) and the
south (Addu Atoll, Hithadhoo Island). Both are scheduled
to be completed in February 2005 and ready for operation by
the end of March 2005. The ports will operate primarily
for international shipping, but each port will include one
berth for domestic boats for trans-shipment to the other
islands. The northern port, which is sheltered, will
accommodate ships up to 1000 gross tons at the alongside
quay, while larger ships will have to anchor outside and be
lightered using barges and tugs. The southern port, which
is open to the lagoon inside the atoll, will accommodate up
to 3000 gross tons at its alongside quay.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
Huravee Building
Ameer Ahmed Magu
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives
Attn: Ahmed Wajeeh
Tel: 960-333047
Fax: 960-323994
Email: wajeeh@transport.gov.mv

Link Bridge
-----------

A bridge linking the capital Male' with Male' International
Airport (Hulhule Island) is in development through the
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. Hulhule is
already connected by a sand causeway to the developing
settlement of Hulhumale. The government has sought bids for
consultants and financiers for the establishment of a dual
carriage four-lane bridge, on BOT terms.

The distance between the islands of Male' and Hulhule, at
the proposed linkage sites, is approximately 1000 meters
(1km), with a depth of up to 50 meters. The project will
include an underpass of approximately 360 meters and other
links between Male' and Hulhule Island. Closing date for
consultancy services was May 24, 2004. Closing date for
submission of Expression of Interest for financing was June
30, 2004. Winners will need both product and services
support.

The GORM is also planning to build a bridge connecting
Male' and Villingili, the next closet residential island.
There is no timeframe currently on this project.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Mohamed Shafeeg Mahmood
Deputy Director (MACL)
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
Male, Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-772662
Fax: 960-323994
Email: bridgeinfo@transport.gov.mv

Harbor Dredging for Fishing Villages
------------------------------------

The initial stage of a harbor-dredging project is currently
underway, dredging the shallow waters of 20 islands over
four developmental regions to increase harbor
accessibility. The Maldives Transport and Contracting
Company (MTCC) will carry out dredging.

A total of 104 islands do not have an access to a
constructed harbor. The Ministry of Planning and National
Development has assessed 92 islands in need of harbors, 70
of which are covered in the project. The remaining islands
have been provided with a harbor, have one in the planning
stages or possess natural harbors with easy accessibility.

The Ministry has not yet named all the islands to be
included in this project. The second phase of the project
will involve a bidding process for the construction of
jetties.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Planning and National Development
Abdulla Shiba
Ghazee Building
Ameer Ahmed Magu
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-323919
Fax: 960-327351
Email: spatial@planning.gov.mv

Hulhumale Development
---------------------
The GORM initiated the Hulhumale construction project in
1997 in response to limited land space and overcrowding
problems. Named after Hulhule Island and the capital Male'
Island, Hulhumale is a new landmass near Male' Island
created by reclamation of an area around Hulhule Island
where Male' International Airport is located. The project
is divided into three reclamation and development phases.
The first phase consists of residential, factory, mosque,
and business buildings and public utilities. The latter
phases will develop high-rise housing and commercial
buildings and an area reserved for the airport's future
expansion.

Over $62 million has been spent to date on the first stage
of Phase 1, which has reclaimed 465 acres of land. About
1000 people are currently in residence on the island, and
basic amenities such as electricity, water and
telecommunications are available at the same rates as
Male'. Approximately 50,000 people are expected to take
residence by the end of Phase 1 in 2020. At the end of the
entire project, the island should accommodate 150,000
people, or around one-half of the current population of the
Maldives.

During the course of the year, the Hulhumale Development
Unit (HDU) is to put up for tender the building of 232
condominiums.

For more information, please contact:
Hulhumale Development Unit (HDU)
Mr. Mauroof Jameel
Tel: 960-353535/336755
Fax: 960-358892
Email: mail@hdu.gov.mv

The GORM recently accepted bids for consultant services for
a feasibility study of a potential business park to be
based on Hulhumale. The park would be built on a 'build
and operate' basis and will include office space, duty free
shopping complex, government center, technology center, re-
export processing center, banks, restaurants,
administrative offices and a transport center.

For more information on the status of the project, please
contact:
Foreign Investment Services Bureau
Ministry of Trade and Industries
First Floor, Ghazee Building
Ameer Ahmed Magu
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-323890/328754
Fax: 960-323756
Website: www.investmaldives.org

Resort Island Development
-------------------------

Bids closed on July 4 for eleven newly designated resort
islands. The new resorts will be privately owned and
operated for a lease period of 25 years. The results of
the tender will be announced in September 2004 and the
resorts are expected to be ready within 18 months. An IMI
with pertinent information on the successful bidders will
follow once bids have been awarded.

The new resorts will be located in the outermost atolls and
will consequently require heavy investment in
transportation in addition to resort infrastructure such as
power plants, desalination plants, incinerators, and
compactors, as well as appliances and furnishings.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Tourism
First Floor, Ghazee Building
Ameer Ahmed Magu
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-323224
Fax: 960-322512
Website: www.maldivestourism.gov.mv

Airport Development Project
---------------------------

The GORM has identified six islands spread throughout the
atolls for future private airport development. These
domestic airports will have 200-meter runways and basic
standard development costs approximating $2.5 million.
Some islands will require land reclamation, and costs would
increase accordingly. One of the six islands, in Ari
Atholhu Atoll, is currently under development by Villa
Shipping and Trading Co., which also owns resort islands in
the area, at a cost of about $10 million including land
reclamation. Others are open to development with no
specific timeframe. Airport development is encouraged by
the recent opening of eleven new resort islands, spread
throughout the atolls, which will require transport
services to and from Male' International Airport. The
small number of hotel beds that could be served by
additional domestic airports, however, may not make airport
development feasible in the near future.

Islands open for airport development include: Dhigurah
(Shaviyani Atoll), Emboodhoofushi (Dhaal Atoll), Usfushi
(Thaa Atoll), Dhiyadhoo (Gaaf Alif Atoll), Fuammulah
(Gnaviyani Atoll).

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
Civil Aviation Department
Tel: 960-232993
Fax: 960-232994
Email: civac@aviainfo.gov.mv

Male' International Airport Upgrade Project - Phase IV
--------------------------------------------- --------
Expansion is underway to ease crowding at Male'
International Airport. Phase IV of the Male' Airport
Upgrading Project, launched in 2002, includes: Departure
Terminal Extension; New Power House and High Voltage
Distribution System; New Air Traffic Control Tower and ATS
Building; New Domestic Terminal; Institutional
Strengthening and Manpower Development; and MSS Radar and
extended VHF System. Total cost is $33 million. All
tenders have been awarded and construction should be
completed by year's end. There may be supply and service
opportunities with the tender winners.

For more information, please contact:
Projects and Planning Services Section
Male' International Airport
Tel: 960-323508
Fax: 960-325034
Email: projects@airports.com.mv


Cellular Phone Liberalization
-----------------------------

The Telecommunications Authority of the Maldives (TAM) is
opening the mobile cellular service sector to competition
and plans to issue a second nationwide mobile license.
Reftel provides additional information on this opportunity.

Network Turnkey Project
-----------------------

Seven parties are bidding to build a network under the
Information Technology Development Project (ITDP). The
Network (Turnkey) component of the ITDP, for the
establishment of the Government Network of Maldives (GNM),
is expected to begin late this year and be completed by the
end of 2006. This network will electronically connect
government organizations in Male' and on 23 main islands
and will be composed of a Metropolitan Area Network built
over Ethernet and DSL technologies; a National Satellite
Network for the connection of islands; distribution
networks for the connection of sites inside the islands;
and common network infrastructure for the hosting of
government applications and the secured access to the
Internet. Network equipment will be complemented with the
required civil works, engineering, installation,
validation, maintenance and training services to achieve a
fully operational result.

For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology
4th Floor, Aage
12 Boduthakurufaanu Magu,
Male', 20-05, Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-331695
Fax: 960-331694
Email: secretariat@mcst.gov.mv or webmaster@mcst.gov.mv
Website: secretariat@mcst.gov.mv

Outer Island Electrification
----------------------------

The Republic of Maldives has received a loan from the Asian
Development Bank (ADB) towards the cost of the Outer
Islands Electrification Project. The Ministry of Atolls
Development is inviting bids for the implementation of a
turnkey contract for the improvement of electricity supply
in 12 sub-project areas in 12 islands through the
installation, augmentation, expansion or modification and
adjustment of the following: powerhouses, bulk fuel tanks,
diesel generator sets with auxiliary equipment including
daily fuel tanks, generator and distribution control,
protection and measurement panels, and underground
distribution systems, including trenching, cables, and
distribution boxes, customer sub-mains and meter boards.
International competitive bidding will be conducted in
accordance with ADB's Two-Stage: Two-Envelope bidding
procedure and is open to all bidders from eligible source
countries. Bids were due on July 2, 2004.
For more information, please contact:
Ministry of Atolls Development
Section G
Attention: Mr. Mohamed Farook
Deputy Director General
3rd Floor, MTCC Tower
Boduthakurufaanu Magu
Male', Republic of Maldives
Tel: 960-328744
Fax: 960-333755
Email: projects@atolls.gov.mv

ENTWISTLE

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