The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $73.39 million concessional loan and grant to the Government of Maldives to develop a waste treatment facility using waste-to-energy (WTE) technology and disposal infrastructure for the Greater Malé region and neighboring outer islands. The project will establish a WTE plant with a capacity of 500 tpd, 2 treatment lines of 250 tpd each, an 8 MW electricity surplus energy recovery facility, an air pollution control system, and a landfill for safe disposal of air pollution control residues and non-marketable incineration bottom ash. The WTE plant will be implemented through a design-build-operate modality with the private sector, with a 15 years operation and maintenance period.
Greater Malé and its neighboring 32 outer islands—which host 86 tourist resorts—suffer from severe environmental pollution and deteriorating livability due to inadequate collection and haphazard disposal of solid waste. Over 830 tons per day (tpd) of solid waste are generated in the area and dumped or burned at the 10-hectare dump site on Thilafushi island. Established in 1992, this dump site has no pollution control measures. The site contaminates the surrounding environment and is a public health and environmental hazard threatening fisheries and tourism.
The total cost of the project is $151.13 million. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank plans to provide a $40 million loan as cofinancing. The Japan Fund for the Joint Crediting Mechanism will provide a $10 million grant to finance expenditures related to WTE design and construction, contingencies, and consulting services for the certification of greenhouse gas emission reduction from the WTE plant. ADB is providing a $500,000 grant as well, while the Government of Maldives will contribute $27.74 million to the project.