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Government Faces Questions Over MPL Port Deal

Government Faces Questions Over MPL Port Deal

The Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has signed an MoU with Philippines’ International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) to handover the development and operation of the country’s main commercial port. The MoU signed in March agrees to pay USD 5 million or MVR 77 million if the agreement is canceled or the project is not carried out.

According to Adhadhu media, a week ahead of the signing, the company’s Asia Pacific and Philippines Regional Business Development Head Gerard Langes signed a letter addressed to President Muizzu. The letter mainly contained the conditions proposed by ICTSI for the development and operation of the port.

Key Points of the Proposal:

  • ICTSI to Operate Port for 25 Years with Extension Option: The agreement would grant ICTSI a 25-year concession to manage the port, with the possibility of a 25-year extension.
  • Government Retains Ownership: The Maldivian government would retain ownership of the port, while ICTSI would be responsible for its development and daily operations.
  • $150-300 Million Investment by ICTSI: ICTSI would shoulder the development costs, estimated between $150 million and $300 million.
  • Revenue Sharing and Training Proposed: ICTSI offered to share a portion of the port’s revenue with the government and provide technical training to Maldivian personnel.
  • Phased Development with Yacht Marina: The plan involves relocating the container terminal to Thilafushi and developing the current port area into a commercial hub with a yacht marina.
  • Exclusive Negotiation Period: A three-month exclusivity period is proposed for ICTSI to finalize the agreement with MPL.

Questions Remain Unanswered:

Maldives President’s office has not responded to inquiries regarding the $5 million penalty clause mentioned in a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MPL and ICTSI if the project fails to materialize.

Strategic Move for ICTSI:

The project would mark ICTSI’s first foray into the Indian subcontinent, potentially establishing the Maldivian port as a regional flagship. The company has presented its financial capabilities to the Maldivian government and expressed confidence in securing funding for the project.

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Negotiations Ongoing:

The Maldivian government is reportedly interested in reaching an agreement with ICTSI. The coming weeks will be crucial in determining the final terms and the project’s future.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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