Construction of a MVR 185 mill office building handed over to Chinese company

Ministry of National Planning has handed over the construction of an office building in Hulhumale' Phase One to Hunan Construction Engineering Group of China.

The MVR 185 million project agreement was signed by the Permanent Secretary of Planning Ministry Zeeniya Ahmed, and the Legal Representative of Hunan Construction Engineering Wang Hi.

The project costing a total of MVR 185,806,545.64 was handed over to the company amid accusations that the former government had contracted large projects for overpriced amounts to Chinese companies. According to the agreement, the six-story office building must be completed within one year.

Hunan Construction Engineering is the same company that built the link road between Hulhule' and Hulhumale' for US$ 24 million.

The project was contracted to Hunan Construction Engineering at a time when a Malaysian company has filed for arbitration against the Maldivian government for going against an agreement between the two parties to build a 25-story office building in Hulhumale'.

The building was planned be built on the property on which the Finance Ministry building is currently located. However, the government made the decision to relocate the construction of the new building to Hulhumale'. At the time, Finance Ministry had stated that the change of plans was based on advice from technical experts.

While 20% of the project was completed under the agreement with the Malaysian company, the government has not made any payments to the company thus far, the company has stated. It is believed that the Maldivian government will have to pay the company over US$ 40 million as compensation, in addition to the outstanding US$ 29 million, should the Maldivian government decide to terminate the agreement with the company.