Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure, Republic of Maldives, in relation to the development of Gulhifalhu. The contract carries a value of approximately EUR 45 million ($48.83 million US). The dredging activities are due to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019 and are expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020.
The development of Gulhifalhu, located near the country’s capital Malé, forms part of the Ministry of National Planning and Infrastructure’s strategic plan to improve and develop the port infrastructure and will serve as a climate adaptive solution, making this part of the Maldives resilient to rising sea levels. As part of this program, Boskalis will reclaim an area with an initial volume of six million cubic meters (7.8 million cubic yards) of sand using a mega sized trailing suction hopper dredge. Boskalis’ activities also include rock revetment work for shoreline protection.
Since the turn of the century, Boskalis has successfully executed several climate change adaptive dredging and reclamation projects in the Maldives. Starting in 2006, the company increased the size and raised the land 1.4 meters (4.7 feet) above sea level on the island of Vilufushi following the devastating tsunami in December 2004. This was followed by subsequent projects including the initial development of Gulhifalhu in 2012 and land reclamation activities on four other islands in 2014.