Oil bunkering services will reportedly be established in Ihavandhippolhu, Haa Alifu Atoll, by the end of this year. The news was revealed last night at a ceremony held to celebrate World Maritime Day. Along with this news, the ceremony inaugurated ‘Maritime Safety Week’, planned to be marked from 22nd September to 29th September globally.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, H.E Aishath Nahula said that work is in progress to establish oil storage and bunkering services at Ihavandhippolhu. Earlier this year, the Managing director of State Trading Organization (STO), Mr Hussain Amru, also declared a plan to establish oil storage units and a bunker in the region. This plan was announced during STO’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Due to the geographical location of Ihavandhippolhu, the island is closest to international freightliners and vessels making trips from the route. It is estimated that some 300 vessels traverse around the island every day.
Currently there is no oil bunker in the area, and once established, would greatly benefit the region and the Maldives’ economy.