The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) is to fund a 4 MW waste to energy project in the Maldives. The project has received a certification from Global Innovation Institute, GINI, an international professional certification, accreditation and membership association in the field of innovation.
Claimed to be a first of its kind initiative, ADFD provided a concessional loan of AED22 million ($6 million) in 2015. The aim of the project is to address the country’s waste management and energy challenges through the construction of facilities that will use waste in an ecofriendly manner to generate about 4MW of energy.
The project will eventually cover three Islands of Vandhoo, Addu and Kulhudhuffushi.
Addressing a virtual meeting on the project recently, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Fund, said, "We are proud to have financed this project, which perfectly aligns with our motto to promote socioeconomic development all over the world through sustainable and ingenuous initiatives. As for this project, it is an example of how innovative ideas can be put to use to save the environment and benefit every individual and community.
"We financed the project considering that it has enormous potential to reduce environmental pollution and keep the economy of the Maldives competitive and supplies secure," he added.
The provision of clean energy and integrated waste management would benefit 122,000 people, save 3.5 million litres of diesel annually, and reduce carbon-dioxide emission by ,200 tonnes a year. In addition, it will help the nation to produce 551,000 litres of desalinated water each year through clean energy, not to mention incineration of 55,000 tonnes of waste that will reduce marine pollution.
"The initiative thus helps the Maldivian government to achieve SDG 7, which seeks to ensure everyone has access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services by 2030; as well as SDG 15, which aims to conserve the environment," Al Suwaidi said.
He underscored the role the Fund plays in helping various countries in the world to achieve their socioeconomic objectives through crucial infrastructure projects.
Al Suwaidi said that the project's recognition by the Global Innovation Institute was evidence of the Fund’s commitment to funding developmental projects that offered innovative and sustainable solutions.
The Maldives aims to be a low-carbon economy and the government is targeting to meet 30% of daytime electricity demand with renewable energy. Addu has already achieved the target. By accelerating the government’s energy-transformation effort, the waste-to-energy project will preserve the environment, as well as the health of its tourism industry.
Acknowledging the Abu Dhabi Fund’s contribution to the project, Ajwad Mustafa, Permanent Secretary at the Maldives’ Ministry of Environment, said, "We are a tourism economy; we sell our natural environment. Yet we lag in terms of waste management. ADFD has been instrumental in the development of our energy sector. The support that they provided to install a waste-to-energy plant in Raa Atoll Vandhoo has been the first of its kind. We are very happy with the outcome of the project."
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development started its activities in the Maldives in 1976. The fund has since supported the efforts of the Maldivian government towards economic and social development and enabled it to meet the development challenges it faced by financing projects that cover the most important sectors in the economy, including housing, telecommunications, transport and energy. The Fund has so far financed 10 development projects with a total value of more than AED750 million.