- ADB supports the development of waste-to-energy facility in Maldives.
- A sustainable and integrated solid waste management system for the Greater Malé region is crucial to preserving public and environmental health.
- Renewable energy generated from the waste-to-energy facility addresses the electricity needs of developing small island countries like Maldives.
The Greater Malé and its neighboring 32 outer islands in Maldives suffer from severe environmental pollution and deteriorating livability due to inadequate collection and haphazard disposal of solid waste. The almost 850 tons of solid waste generated each day is dumped and burned on Thilafushi island. This dumpsite has no pollution control measures contaminating surrounding environment and poses public health and environmental hazards. The Greater Malé Waste-to-Energy Project will establish a sustainable solid waste treatment and disposal facility including an electricity surplus energy recovery facility.
With its pristine beaches and clear blue water, Maldives is a popular tourist haven.
The country offers a diverse, unique culture and calm island living.
But the beauty and potential of this paradise is under threat from environmental degradation—and the strain of managing the almost 850 tons of waste generated from the Greater Malé area each day.
In 2018, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Maldives started work on addressing this problem—with the Greater Malé Environmental Improvement and Waste Management Project.
The next phase of this work will construct a solid waste treatment facility under the Greater Malé Waste-to-Energy Project with ADB providing $73 million in loans and grants to the total project cost of $151 million.
Luca Di Mario, Urban Development Specialist, ADB (Project officer):
The first is the development of a waste-to-energy treatment facility which will include a landfill for the safe disposal of process residues and this will be implemented with the design-build-operate contract with the long-term operations and maintenance period.
And this is to tap private sector know-how in efficient design and sustainable operations.
This is very important because this is the first time this technology is used in the country.
The project will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Environment Protection Agency to effectively supervise the operation and maintenance of the facilities.
The second output will basically build the institutional capacity to manage and supervise waste-to-energy plant performance and service provision.
The plant will adopt disaster and climate resilient features to respond to future threats posed by climate change such as sea level rise.
Ahmed Murthaza, Director General, Waste Management and Pollution Control Department:
The environmental integrity at a high level is an important factor for the economic development of the country and also social welfare, well-being of the population.
So this is one of the most important projects for the Government of Maldives in terms of tourism and also beneficial to the environment.
This is the first large-scale waste treatment facility in the Maldives, and it will be key to solve the solid waste problems of the Greater Malé region.
Providing sustainable solid waste management is a priority for the government and will ensure a clean, livable, and sustainable future.