USD 400m loan agreement for Thilamale' bridge signed

Signing ceremony for the USD 400 million loan from India for the Thilamale' bridge project on October 12, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The government of Maldives has today signed the loan agreement of USD 400 million provided by India for the construction of the Thilamale’ bridge.

The bridge will connect the islands of Male’, Vilingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. 

The loan agreement for the Greater Male’ Connectivity Project was signed in a special ceremony at the Finance Ministry today. 

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldives while General Manager of India’s Exim Bank Nirmit Ved and Chief Manager Harish Kumar. 

The repayment period of the loan will commence five years after the completion of the project. Finance Ministry said that 65-70 percent of the project components for the project which comes through the Line of Credit agreement with India, will be sourced by India. This means that Maldivian businesses and services can take part in the project as well. The Ministry also said that Maldivian and Indian technical authorities had approved of the detailed project report prepared for the bridge.

An international tendering process will be opened for contractors and the Ministry expects official work on the project to commence in December. 

The Thilamale’ Bridge would have marine viaducts of 141 kilometers in deeper areas with marine viaducts of 2.32 kilometers in shallower areas and land areas as well as 2.96 kilometers of at-grade roads and will span across four islands.

Signalized junctions are to be established at land interchanges between Male’ and Vilingili under the project. In Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu, roundabouts are to be established under the project with bus terminals located near the bridge junctions of every island. 

Finance Ministry also said that under the government’s initiative for sustainable infrastructure development, road lighting, navigation lighting and CCTV and sign gentry lighting will be powered through solar energy. Solar panels are to be installed in lamp posts and bridge parapets for the purpose as well. 

When the Thilamale’ bridge is completed, all the islands of the Greater Male’ Area will be fully connected with the Sinamale’ bridge. The islands are Hulhumale’, Hulhule’, Male’, Vilingili, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi. Hulhumale’, Hulhule’ and Male’ are already connected with the Sinamale’ Bridge constructed under a loan agreement with China.