Chinese contractor offers to build 15,000 housing units in Rasmale’

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu inaugurates the Fushidhiggaru Falhu land reclamation project on December 18, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

A Chinese contractor has expressed interest in building 15,000 housing units in Rasmale’ – an artificial island which is being reclaimed in the Male’ Atoll in a mega housing project launched by the Maldivian administration.

The Rasmale’ project – launched on December 18 – will see the reclamation of 1,093 hectors of land from the Fushi Dhiggaru Falhu.

In a press briefing regarding decisions made during a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Abdulla Nazim, the policy secretary at the President’s Office, said that the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has submitted a proposal to building 15,000 housing units in Rasmale’.

CSCEC is the same company which carried out the Hiyaa Housing Project in Hulhumale’. It has also developed waste transfer stations in Male’ and Vilimale’.

“China’s CSCEC International Construction has expressed interest in building housing units to 15,000 modules. With regard to their proposal, it was decided for the Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development and Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure to jointly engage in further negotiations regarding cost and quality-related matters,” said Nazim, while speaking to reporters during Sunday evening’s press conference.

During a visit to China earlier this month, Housing Minister Dr. Ali Haidar said that the Maldivian administration plans on building 30,000 social housing units in Rasmale’ with support from China.

In an interview to state broadcaster PSM on January 11, Haidar said the construction of the 30,000 units will be carried out simultaneously.

Maldives and China signed 20 agreements during the China trip, including a MoU on the Rasmale’ project – an ambitious project that that aims to solve the housing crisis in the Maldivian capital.

Haidar said that the agreements between Maldives and China don’t just cover the construction of housing in Rasmale’, but also the establishment of essential facilities including water, sanitation, and construction of roads.

The reclamation of Rasmale’ is contracted to Sri Lanka’s Capital Marine and Civil Construction Company (CMC).

The reclamation works is expected to be completed in eight months, and is estimated to cost minimum USD 500 million.

However, the cost will be borne by CMC, which will receive 70 hectors of land for long-term lease in exchange for running the reclamation project.

This includes 10 hectors from Hulhumale’ for 49 years and 60 hectors from Rasmale’ for 50 years.