As global oil prices reached a seven-year high with US$86.71 per barrel, the State Trading Organisation (STO) hiked the price of petrol from MVR11.16 per litre to MVR12.06 per litre. The price of diesel was increased from MVR11.84 per litre to MVR12.44 per litre.
The state utility Fenaka Corporation signed a solar PV power purchase agreement with Dubai’s Clear Future Synergies Limited to make the Gan International Airport in Addu City “the Maldives’ first fully solar-powered green airport.”
Yacht and boatbuilder Gulf Craft marked 20 years of operations in the Maldives. The company says it is doubling the production capacity of its Maldives shipyard to manufacture a fleet of purpose-built speedboats for the government’s ‘Integrated National Public Ferry Network.’
The State Electricity Company (STELCO) commissioned new STW600 generators on Alif Alif Thoddoo and Alif Dhaal Dhigurah, increasing the electricity capacity from 1056kW to 1656kW and from 918kW to 1518kW respectively on the islands.
The Maldives Customs Service collected MVR364 million (US$24 million) as import duties in December 2021, up 23 percent from the same period in the previous year. Goods worth MVR4.5 billion were imported during the month.
The State Bank of India announced the sale of two resort properties to recover dues. The civil court authorised the bank to auction the leasehold rights over non-payment of loans, interest and fines by the resort operators. The Gasveli Dhekunuboduveli and Kudausfushi Island Resort in Meemu atoll is up for sale at a minimum reserve price of US$17.5 million. The minimum price listed for the Dholhiyadhoo Island Resort in Shaviyani Atoll is US$33 million. The deadline for submission of bids is 1 February.
The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) granted the largest annual fishing quota in Asia to the Maldives, with an allocation 47,195 tonnes. The largest quota was awarded to the European Union with 73,146 tonnes. The IOTC is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for the management of tuna and tuna-like species.
The tourism ministry added a cluster of three uninhabited islands in Shaviyani Atoll to a list of 19 islands to be leased for resort development, inviting bids from foreign and local investors. Relatively low amounts were proposed as minimum lease acquisition costs – between US$200,000 and US$1.5 million – after only one of 23 islands put up for bidding last year found an investor. All of the islands on offer are outside the central atolls where most of the country’s resorts are located.
The national airline operator Island Aviation Services was enlisted to manage the new Madivaru domestic airport developed by local tourism company Kuredu Holdings. Built by the Beijing Urban Construction Group with a 1,200-metre runway, Madivaru is the first airport in Lhaviyani atoll. Kuredu Holdings, which operates resorts in the north-central atoll, reportedly spent US$11 million on the project. Scheduled flights are due to start in February. Island Aviation currently operates domestic airports in Baa Dharavandhoo, Thaa Thimarafushi and Raa Ifuru along with an international airport in Noonu Maafaru.
Canareef Resort in Addu Atoll reopened after a two-year hiatus. Of the other two properties in the southernmost atoll, South Palm Resort is in operation but the Shangrila Villigili remains closed.
The Bank of Maldives announced a startup grant programme, offering mentoring support and MVR500,000 (US$32,400) each to four winning proposals for starting or growing a business. The ‘BML Startup Grant’ is part of 12 high-impact monthly community initiatives to celebrate the national bank’s 40th anniversary in November.
The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) began construction of a new harbour on Muraidhoo island in Haa Alif atoll. MTCC CEO Adam Azim and the constituency’s ruling party lawmaker Ahmed Abdulla attended the launching ceremony for the MVR33.72 million (US$2.1 million) project. Earlier this month, MTCC was contracted to widen the Maakurathu harbour, relocate the channel of Ungoofaaru, develop the Dhaandhoo harbour and reclaim land for an industrial zone in Thinadhoo,. The state-owned company has 64 ongoing projects, including road construction and shore protection. An ambitious ‘Integrated National Public Ferry Network’ project is also in the pipeline.
STELCO started using a new RO plant to provide free water to alleviate a water shortage on Gaafaru island in Kaafu atoll. Dozens of islands run out of drinking water every year during the dry northeast monsoon.